Google and Microsoft Team Up to Battle GeoTag Inc.

March 4th, 2011 at 4:41 am

Finally, something Microsoft and Google could agree upon. The two online giants join forces to sue Texas-based company GeoTag Inc., which in turn has sued at least 387 companies sinces July 2010 over patent infringement.

The patent, 5930474, deals with any system that depicts geographical data and in turn provides information about goods and services available in the area.

The companies being sued by GeoTag include Boeing, Pizza Hut, and Rolex. GeoTag claims that their websites include store locator features that are often provided on Google or Bing Maps.

Microsoft and Google, meanwhile, assert that their products and their customers’ use of those products do not infringe on any claims of GeoTag. They are also seeking a permanent injunction to stop GeoTag from suing any of their customers.

The companies are also seeking to have some or all of the claims in the patent invalidated, claiming that there was prior art that the United States Patent and Trademark Office should have considered before granting the patent.

In fact, the patent itself is not originally owned by GeoTag, as it has been sold and resold by various companies since it was granted in 1999. Two years ago, the patent was sold for US$119 million to Antigua-based electronic payment services firm Ubixo Limited and created GeoTag Inc. as a separate company in July 2010.

Source: Ars Technica


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