Monday, November 16, 2009

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo sued over mapping software

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and a dozen more US based companies that offer web based mapping applications are being sued by WebMap Technologies for infringement of a US patent called Method and Apparatus for Collecting and Expressing Geographically Referenced Data, says report.

The patent from 2004 was originally assigned to Cornell Research Foundation and National Audubon Society. The patent is an outcome of work done by the University and the society with regards to locating and plotting bird migrations.

WebMap Technologies is based in Frisco, TX and claims to be the only licensee of the patent. WebMap Tech alleges in the complaint that Google has known about the potential infringement for some time before the suit was filed. The plaintiff wants a permanent injunction enjoining defendants, damages, costs, expenses, interest, enhanced damages, attorneys' fees and other relief to which it may be entitled. The suite was filed Nov 3 2009.

If WebMap wins, it will mean a rather everyday and commonly done act of attaching a placemark on a web map if not done by paying the necessary royalties will be tagged as illegal.


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