GeoTag (which sued Verizon/SuperPages several years ago and more recently filed a lawsuit against Yellow Pages, YellowBot, Yelp, Local.com, and half a dozen other IYPs) filed a bunch of new law suites on Friday. Now they're going after Starbucks, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, Rent-a-Center, and hundreds of other companies.
Ever since I first heard about their lawsuits, I predicted that they'd eventually start going after everyone even remotely related to local search. Now they're going full speed ahead.
I've been trying to find a good link for more info, but so far the story has been under the radar. Now that some huge companies have been dragged into the issue, I suspect (hope) that some mainstream media will pick up the story.
For those unfamiliar with the issue, GeoTag bought patent 5,930,474 (the "474 patent"
[google.com]), issued back in 1999, which deals with local search (category/location combination).
If you look at the patent, the concept was so broad and obvious that (in my opinion) there is no way it should have ever been granted.
I certainly hope that someone decides to put a stop to this and fight the patent!