Apple and Google are unlikely bedfellows in a legal dispute surrounding Google’s Street View technology.
The mapping technology presents a 3D view of a road using Google Maps on iOS and Android devices. It’s tremendously useful when you need to pinpoint a location and view the surrounding buildings or land.
PanoMap enters the picture because it bought US patent No. 6,563,529. This patent describes a mult-window mapping system. One window displays a map, and a second, smaller interactive window contains a panoramic image of the site being studied. Included below is an sample image in the patent and a screenshot of Street View on the iPhone, so you can compare.
The USPTO granted the patnet to Jerry Jongerius in 2003. Empire IP acquired it last year and, in Februrary of this year, transferred it to PanoMap Technologies, LLC. PanoMap didn’t waste any time and filed a complaint against Apple and Google on February 24, 2012.
PanoMap is asking for triple damages in this case because the company claims Apple and Google were aware of the patent but chose to ignore it. The company claims Google refers to the patent in its own recent patent application and has proof that Apple in 2007 viewed a website with information about the patent. Google and Apple have not publicly commented on this case.