Apple Sued Over Navigation App, Is Google Maps Next?

Apple Maps on the desktop 1 photo
Photo: Apple
Apple has long been the preferred target of patent trolls out there, but a New Jersey-based company claims the Cupertino-based tech giant is really using some of its technology without authorization.
In a lawsuit filed recently, Omnitek says Apple Maps infringes on two different patents, both of them concerning how users can configure their driving directions without manually typing the address.

Omnitek claims the patents that Apple violates with Apple Maps are 8,645,057 and 8,224,569, which describe ways to configure the navigation using dragging and dropping, taps on a specific point on the map, and preferences that include avoiding toll roads.

As per a report, Omnitek claims Apple “knowingly” infringes on the patents and calls for a jury trial.

Apple’s actions that aid and abet others to infringe include advertising and/or providing support services to partners contracted by Apple or providing instruction materials, training, and services regarding the Accused Instrumentalities which actively induce a user of the Apple Maps system to infringe the Asserted Claims. For example, Apple provides potential users with detailed instruction materials on how to operate the Apple Maps system in a way that infringes at least one claim of the ’057 patent,” the patent reads.

While Apple hasn’t responded to these claims, and there’s a chance it'll never do given this is a legal dispute, Omnitek’s claims seem to target the way most navigation apps work, not just Apple Maps. Google Maps, for example, also supports similar gestures to set up the navigation and comes with several options that allow users to avoid toll roads.

Omnitek hasn’t provided any information as to whether it plans to go after other companies bundling these features with their navigation apps, as its current target seems to be only Apple. The company seeks unspecified damages following the lawsuit for the “past infringement of the patents-in-suite, and any continuing or future infringement through the date such judgment is entered.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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