Microsoft, Google Slammed With Lawsuit Over 3D Mapping Technology

July 6, 2011 0

San Francisco — Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. have been slammed with a lawsuit accusing the two tech giants for allegedly violating the a Louisiana company’s patent covering mapping technology that helps computer users see locations in three dimensions, according to Bloomberg.

According to Bloomberg report, Transcenic Inc. alleges in a lawsuit that executives of Google, owner of the world’s biggest search engine, and Microsoft, the world’s biggest software maker, have infringed its patented technology that enables them to capture 3D images of locations on a map.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, stated that the companies’ misuse of the mapping technology “has harmed Transcenic and Transcenic is entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate for such infringement,” the company said in its filing.

The closely held Lake Charles, Louisiana-based company said July 1 in a suit filed in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Transcenic said in court documents that Google’s Street View and Google Earth and Microsoft’s Streetside programs let users view a 3D rendering of places in the world rather than just satellite imagery from above.

Furthermore, Transcenic Inc. appealed to the Delaware District court to prevent the two tech giants from continuing to infringe its patent and asked the court to award it damages.

Particularly, patents covering computer-mapping software have triggered off litigation against Google, Microsoft and other companies in federal courts around the U.S. GeoTag Inc. has filed patent- infringement suits against 300 entities, many of which use mapping technology developed by Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft or Mountain View, California-based Google to show store locations.

In addition to Microsoft and Google, the patent-violation suit also labeled AOL Inc. and its MapQwest unit as defendants.

Sandy Drayton, an AOL spokeswoman, did not immediately return a phone call for comment on the suit. Jay Nancarrow, a Google spokesman, could not immediately comment July 1. Kevin Kutz, a Microsoft spokesman, did not immediately return a call for comment.

Transcenic asserts that computer programs such as Google’s Street View system also has become a target for lawsuits alleging the company is violating residents’ privacy rights by collecting data from individual Wi-Fi networks.

Moving forward, Google’s Street View has come under legal fire before, and a federal judge in California June 30 said a wiretapping suit over the system could proceed. Google Street View has also been barred from filming in India.

The case is Transcenic Inc. v. Google Inc., 11-cv-582, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (Wilmington).


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