Remember a year ago when Skyline Software asked a court to have Google shut down Google Earth because it infringed on their patent? Well, a court has decided Google Earth does not infringe a patent issued by Skyline Software in 2002. Here are the details from the Associated Press:
SAN FRANCISCO- 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.
Skyline had been seeking unspecified damages as well as a court order to prevent Google from using the technology allegedly covered by U.S. Patent No. 6,496,189.
“From the beginning, we felt confident that Google Earth’s technology does not infringe Skyline’s patent,” Google spokesman Ricardo Reyes said Wednesday.
Skyline didn’t immediately return phone messages seeking comment late Wednesday.