Microsoft, Google and AOL face mapping patent fight

Posted by Kate Taylor

An obscure Louisiana company is having a pop at Google, Microsoft and AOL for allegedly infringing its 3D mapping patent.

Transcenic says its business is the development of spatial referenced image capture, organization and display technology. And it claims that Google's Street View, Microsoft's Streetside and AOL's MapQuest, which give users a 3D image, infringe a patent for a 'Spatial referenced photographic system with navigation arrangement' - basically, 3D image capturing software - which was filed for in 2000 and granted in 2006.

"The patented technology relates to systems and methods for capturing spatial referenced images and for providinga three-dimensional positional database system for displaying the images and permitting navigationamong the images using positional information and commands," reads the complaint.

"The Defendants each make, use, provide, and control third-party access to interactive mapping websites and applications that displayspatial referenced street-level imagery and provide interactive image navigation controls usingsystems and methods that infringe the patented technology."

Microsoft and Google are already in the courts over allegations from GeoTag that their mapping services infringe GeoTag patents.

The case is Transcenic Inc v Google Inc et al, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, No. 11-582.