Apple and Google on same side in court with suit over Street View

Apple and Google on same side in court with suit over Street View
Apple and Google in court. Just hearing those words brings up visions of fierce battles, like Ali-Frazier I in Madison Square Garden, or the Nixon-Kennedy debate in 1960, or red vs. blue in Rock 'em Sock'em Robots. But adversity makes strange bedfellows and both Apple and Google are actually are on the same side in an Orlando court. The duo are the defendants in a case brought by a company called PanoMap that filed to stop both companies from using Street View in Apple devices. Google supplies mapping services to the Cupertino based firm.

The plaintiff is arguing in a Florida court that the duo is infringing on its patent No. 6,563,529 for an "Interactive system for displaying detailed view and direction in panoramic images."  PanoMap says that because both tech titans were aware of PanoMap's ownership of the patent and used it anyway, the damages should be tripled The latter says that a Google patent application cites PanoMap's ownership of this particular patent, and Apple said it had visited a website a few years ago which displayed the patent.

But Apple and Google might luck out because it seems that PanoMap is a non-practicing entity more commonly called a patent troll. Company lawyers refused to answer questions on whether or not the company has a real mapping business or if it is just a cover for lawyers who go after alleged patent infringements. The patent itself has an interesting history as it was issued to a computer scientist named Jerry Jongerius in 2003. It  was then transferred to a shell company called Empire IP in 2011 and transferred again to “PanoMap Technologies LLC” in early February.

But things are more confusing than they seem. A company called CSA, which online appears to have ties to PanoMap, claims to own the  patents and says it is not suing Google and Apple which leads to the possibility that a shell company of sorts is the one behind the lawsuit. You can be sure that we will be hearing more about this case.

source: PaidContent via electronista


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