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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