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Google and Microsoft have joined forces to take down a Texas company's geotagging patent that they claim has been used in lawsuits against more than 300 entities, many of which are customers of the two companies. Microsoft and Google want to protect Google Maps and Bing Maps against this kind of activity.
A Google VP recently tweeted about two turkeys that don't make an eagle. In this case, we are seeing two giants who separate their fierce competition in various fields from a common interest in curbing trollish behavior.
The patent, US Patent No. 5,930,474, is entitled "Internet organizer for accessing geographically and topically based information". It was applied for in 1996 and granted in 1999. Microsoft and Google say there was prior art at the time of filing that the USPTO didn't take into account.
Google and Microsoft need to realize they are NOT above copyright law and are NOT free to show every image they get their crawlers on.
All of our revenue will be derived from our ability to negotiate and enforce settlement and licensing arrangements with unauthorized users of our 474 patented technology. Our ability to successfully negotiate license agreements with third-party users of our technology will depend, in large part, on our outside legal team’s success in developing, operating and prosecuting our patent infringement and licensing strategy for the 474 Patent.