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Waze Wins Patent Dispute Over Tech Built to Fight Traffic Jams

The Google-owned Waze app is a traffic navigation solution that has become an essential tool in the tech arsenal of millions of drivers out there, simply because it helps them avoid traffic jams and get around crowded regions much faster.
Waze lets users report traffic jams along their routes 7 photos
The new stable Waze version on the Google PixelWaze for AndroidWaze for AndroidWaze for AndroidWaze for AndroidWaze for Android
Waze relies on a community-driven reporting system that allows users to mark the location of traffic jams, speed cameras, road hazards, and potholes on the map, thus allowing the application to determine a faster route to a specific destination.

Israeli software firm Makor Issues & Rights, however, says Waze violates two of their patents, including U.S. Patent No. 6,480,783, which covers a Real time vehicle guidance and forecasting system under traffic jam conditions.

The Israeli company sued Google back in 2016 for the alleged patent infringement, and a Delaware federal judge earlier this week ruled in favor of the search engine in this dispute.

As per Law360 (link under paywall), U.S. District Judge Colm F. Connolly sided with Google, who said that the abstract section of the patent Makor brought up in court is just a mathematical algorithm that’s already used in several tech implementations and cannot be patented.

The abstract section of the patent does describe a system that sounds very similar to Waze.

The proposed vehicle Guidance System includes a plurality of vehicles equipped with Individual Mobile Units including GPS units (position determining systems adapted to determine their present position) and communicatively linked to the Central Traffic Unit computer server."

"The Central Traffic Unit broadcasts the updated traffic patterns in real time thereby enabling the Individual Mobile Units to dynamically calculate the desired optimal travel paths. In response to a request from a driver for a route update from his present position to a desired destination, the Individual Mobile Unit searches for an optimal (usually fastest) route and shows it to the driver,
” the patent reads.

Google obviously hasn’t released a statement on this legal dispute, but for the company it’s clearly an important win, as it can protect its traffic navigation app from similar claims in the future.

 
 
 
 
 

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