Google Wins Earth Patent Judgment

    June 13, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

A virtual mapping company’s request for an injunction against Google Earth was rejected by a Massachusetts federal judge on Friday. Skyline Software Systems claimed that the mapping service was a violation of a patent granted in 2002.

US District Judge Douglas Woodlock made the ruling via tele-conference with attorneys representing the two companies, but did not publish a written opinion.

CNet reports that Google became involved in the case after its acquisition of Keyhole in October of 2004. Google has utilized Keyhole’s mapping technology and databases to develop 3D mapping for Google Earth.

Skyline sued Keyhole prior to Google’s acquisition feeling that Keyhole’s technology infringed upon a mapping product called TerraExplorer which has similar 3D terrain and urban view functions.

Though Keyhole claimed a violation of Patent No. 6,496,189, which protects “a method of providing data blocks describing three-dimensional terrain to a renderer,” Google fired back that “Skyline was not the first to have satellite imagery of the Earth.”