Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Google wins key ruling in patent dispute over Earth software

Online search leader Google Inc. has won a key court ruling in a patent dispute over its popular three-dimensional software that provides Internet tours of the Earth.

In a summary judgment issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock in Massachusetts decided that Google Earth doesn't infringe on a patent issued to Skyline Software Systems Inc. in 2002.

Skyline, a privately held company in Chantilly, Va., had been pursuing a patent infringement claim since 2004 when it first sued Keyhole Inc., whose technology powers Google Earth. Mountain View-based Google bought Keyhole for an undisclosed amount in October 2004.

Keyhole's 3-D technology powers mapping software that ranks among Google's biggest successes outside of its search engine. Google said its Earth software has been downloaded more than 100 million times [...continue article]

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