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Google, Microsoft, and AOL have found themselves the target of a lawsuit over a Louisiana company’s patent on street-level views in online maps.
Details are fairly sparse, according to the original Reuters report. But Transcenic, which filed the complaint, says that Google Street View, Microsoft Streetside, and AOL’s MapQuest all infringe on its patent for “Spatial referenced photographic system with navigation arrangement,” which a quick search shows was filed for in 2000 and granted in 2006.
In plain English, it appears Transcenic holds the patent on taking panoramic images and navigating them, Google Street View-style. The company is seeking both damages and a court order for Google, et al, to stop infringing on their patent.
[edited by: heisje at 10:57 pm (utc) on Jul 6, 2011]
I believe that the latter is true, I think the big 3 developed their maps internally and independently.
Transcenic applied for the patent in 2000
Systems and methods for enticing users to access a web site
A system provides a periodically changing story line and/or a special event company logo to entice users to access a web page. For the story line, the system may receive objects that tell a story according to the story line and successively provide the objects on the web page for predetermined or random amounts of time. For the special event company logo, the system may modify a standard company logo for a special event to create a special event logo, associate one or more search terms with the special event logo, and upload the special event logo to the web page. The system may then receive a user selection of the special event logo and provide search results relating to the special event.
Live by the sword die by the sword. MSFT, AOL, and even Google would be RUTHLESS in enforcing their patents.
If Transcenic had a map tool that I could use I would support them.. the fact is all they did was submit a patent 11 years ago then did nothing.
You know that every time you add a Santa hat to your logo you owe royalties to Google right? Google 'patented' that stupid doodle idea
Patents are supposed to foster inventions, how can we take advantage of inventions if the people who actually create things and bring them to market are being stopped by the people dreaming up this stuff but never building the vision or bringing it to market?
If these trolls keep getting their way we will be left with a bunch of great ideas on paper that no-one will build for fear of doing all the work and having all the benefits litigated from them.