fptechnoMar 08, 2007 11:05:47 IST
Google Inc. has won a key court ruling in a patent dispute over Google Earth, its popular three-dimensional mapping software.
In a summary judgment issued Wednesday, a U.S. district judge decided Google Earth does not infringe on a patent issued to Skyline Software Systems Inc. in 2002.
Skyline, a privately held company, had been pursuing a patent infringement claim since 2004, when it first sued Keyhole Inc., whose technology powers Google Earth. Google bought Keyhole for an undisclosed amount in October 2004.
Google said its Earth software has been downloaded more than 100 million times.
Skyline had been seeking unspecified damages as well as a court order to prevent Google from using the technology.
''From the beginning, we felt confident that Google Earth's technology does not infringe Skyline's patent,'' Google spokesman Ricardo Reyes said Wednesday.
Skyline did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment late Wednesday.