Google Earth dodges injunction

by admin June 13, 2006 at 7:48 am

Judge rejects Skyline’s request…

A federal judge in Massachusetts has rejected a request for an injunction preventing Google from distributing its popular 3D Earth-mapping and visualisation program.

US District Judge Douglas Woodlock on Friday denied a preliminary injunction requested by a Virginia-based company called Skyline Software Systems, which alleges Google Earth violates its terrain-mapping patent.

A notice posted on the court’s website says Woodlock announced his decision in a telephone conference with attorneys involved in the case without publishing a written opinion.

The legal spat began when Skyline sued Keyhole, a digital mapping company, for patent infringement in May 2004. Founded in 1997, Skyline makes a number of mapping products, including one called TerraExplorer, which – according to its website – “allows users to freely fly through 3D terrain and urban environments”.

Google became part of the suit after it acquired Keyhole in October 2004. Keyhole made interactive, 3D mapping software based on terabytes of information and images taken from satellites and airplanes. That technology formed the basis for Google Earth, which was released last June.

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