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RealTime IT News

Microsoft Faces Patent Lawsuit

A California man this week filed suit against Microsoft Corp., claiming the software giant is using his patented technology on its Seattle Sidewalk site.

Thomas D. Peterson of Sonoma, Calif., filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Oakland. He contends he was awarded a 1996 patent for computerized method he developed that finds "shortest elapsed time route information," enabling drivers to navigate through heavily-trafficked locations.

"Users (have) accessed the Internet site to obtain shortest elapsed time route information without obtaining permission," Peterson charged in the suit. He is seeking unspecified damages and is asking that Microsoft cease from using his invention.

In a similar case in January, Microsoft as well as America Online, and Yahoo! were sued in a Denver federal court by CIVIX-DDI LLC over mapping software patents.

That suit contended that those companies, and additional defendants Rand-McNally, Infoseek, Lycos, and the Denver Post inappropriately used the company's mapping technologies so that its users could plan trips and locate business addresses.

CIVIX-DDI LLC is asking for unspecified damages.