updated 06:15 pm EST, Mon February 27, 2012
PanoMap sues Apple, Google over Street View patent
Apple and Google are both named as defendants in a new patent lawsuit initiated by Florida-based PanoMap Technologies. In contention is a patent for an "interactive system for displaying detailed view and direction in panoramic images." PanoMap wants three times the damages from both giants because they have allegedly knew about the patent but ignored it. Proof of their knowledge is in Apple's visiting of a website in 2007 that contained the patent while Google reportedly cited it in a patent application of its own, PanoMap claims.
Google supplies Apple devices with its mapping technology, including a Street View function that has an actual image of the area being viewed on a map from a car driver's perspective. The patent relates to how the camera position is adjusted and the interface the user sees to view these images.
PanoMap appears to be a patent troll, as it doesn't seem to have any products of its own and simply owns the patent, which was transferred to it in February of 2011.
An Atlanta company which builds lasers for measuring used by architects owne the PanoMap mark but a representative said it isn't suing Apple and Google. CSA went on to say it had filed a patent of its own a year ago for technology it's been developing for nearly a decade.
If this is indeed the case, the lawsuit could be unique, as it would be initiated by a shell company using the trademarked name of another, real company, in order to sue others. [via PaidContent]