Microsoft, Google and AOL sued over 3D mapping software

Microsoft, Google, and AOL are the subjects of a lawsuit from a company that claims the three defendants violated the patents of its 3D mapping software. Bloomberg reports that Transcenic filed the lawsuit earlier this week. The lawsuit states that the 3D software used in all three companies' street mapping services "has injured Transcenic and Transcenic is entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate for such infringement."

Google's popular Street View feature for its Map division is involved in the lawsuit along with Microsoft's Streetwise business and AOL's MapQuest division. The Lake Charles, Louisiana-based Transcenic company claims that all three companies used 3D mapping software to show its users where to go. The company claims that the software "misappropriated technology" from Transcenic. The company itself is privately owned and doesn't even appear to have its own web site. So far spokespersons for Google and Microsoft have not yet commented on the lawsuit, according to the article. AOL did not yet respond to an inquiry.

In related news. Wired.com reports that Google lost a court battle earlier this week dealing with its Street View feature. Lawsuits filed last year claimed that Google's use of vehicles to help create the Street View images "... were equipped with WiFi sniffing hardware to record the names and MAC addresses of routers to improve Google location-specific services." A judge agreed that such actions also secretly took info from people's WiFi networks and that Google can be held liable for any damages. Google has said that the use of its Street View vehicles in that way was a "mistake' and that any info taken from WiFi networks has not yet been viewed by Google.

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13 Comments

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Ok, so a company that is worth less than most of us posting here make in a few months/year that is less than 7 years old, is suing Microsoft and several other companies over a software patent based on 3D mapping software.

I wonder if the company, their lawyers or the patent office ever did a Google/Bing search for: Aerial Images or TerraServer ?

Microsoft built the first image based mapping and topographical (3D) server technologies to have existed outside of a government. It was a project to use the newly declassified satelitte images and showcase the scalability and performance of Microsoft SQL Server technologies.

Let alone Microsoft's FS 5 that introduced a real world 3D coordinate/mapping system.

Um, good luck... (They might have had a shot if they left Microsoft out of the lawsuit.)

Memnochxx said,
So Google is liable for all the $0 in damages caused by logging wifi packets.

Are you really this myopic? If the FBI or any law enforcement agency was doing this, it would be a massive congressional investigation. If the CIA was doing this in other countries it would be have CIA agents ending up in prison or put to death.

Do you have any idea what Google really did and how illegal and 'wrong' it was?

That needs guts. To sue some of the most brutal tech giants together! And that too, by such a small company.

They have been in the business - we are talking software for ten years, they only have 2 employees and they manage to make a whopping 150,000 dollars.....this is definitely a troll.

Software Patents are perfectly legitimate & a good use of the legal system, no, not a waste of time and a waste of money into the lawyers' pockets at all.

Yay another patent troll out for some free cash, by being privately owned and not even having a website they're not actively using there patents so morally should be declared null and void.

thealexweb said,
Yay another patent troll out for some free cash, by being privately owned and not even having a website they're not actively using there patents so morally should be declared null and void.
Agreed. A lack of intent to use (either by actively trying to license almost immediately after applying for the patent, or creating their own product) should void patents.

thealexweb said,
Yay another patent troll out for some free cash,
Patent trolling must be treated as criminal offence. Its like bank robbery just tools are different.

thealexweb said,
Yay another patent troll out for some free cash, by being privately owned and not even having a website they're not actively using there patents so morally should be declared null and void.
What a stupid comment. You don't get a patent that easily, so if it's approved you clearly have all the legal rights to call it yours. It's ridiculous that someone like you whines that it's a private company, doesn't own a web site and possibly not using the patent. You're probably the same person who complains to a cop for speeding that you should be allowed 100miles/hr on the highway, because it was late at night an no traffic....sigh.

EJocys said,
Patent trolling must be treated as criminal offence. Its like bank robbery just tools are different.
Another stupid comment....do visitors here actually have a brain....sigh