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March 16, 2014

Appeals court reopens patent challenge to Google’s Street View

Google must face a patent infringement challenge to its popular Street View application, a federal appellate court has ruled.

Google must face a patent infringement challenge to its popular Street View application, a federal appellate court has ruled.

In the 14-page decision issued Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reopened the case brought by the California-based Vederi LLC. Vederi sued Google in October 2010, contending the latter had infringed on four patents. The four related patents, the court summarized, enable “ creating synthesized images of a geographic area through which a user may then visually navigate via a computer.”

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting as trial judge, sided with Google in dismissing the challenge. He reasoned, in part, that Vederi’s method of taking, processing and displaying images creates only vertical flat views, not the spherical

ones for which Street View is known.

Try again, the appellate panel says.

The case, in part, revolved around the meaning of the term “ substantially” as a modifier in the text of the patent claims. In other words, this bears close reading.

David A. Dillard of Christie, Parker & Hale, of Glendale, Calif., argued the case for Vederi.

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