Saturday, 30 July 2011

Traffic Information is busy again ! Sues ten companies for patent infringement

Two years back, in June, 2009, Google had sought a declaration of non-infringement and patent invalidity of two patents owned by Traffic Information LLC. The two patents were US6785606 (the ‘606 patent), entitled “System for providing traffic information” and US6466862 (the ‘862 patent), entitled “System for providing traffic information”. In addition to Google, Traffic Information has also sued more than 40 companies such as Sony, Best Buy, Yahoo, HTC, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile accusing all of them of infringing its patents. It was reported by Bloomberg that some of the companies such as Research In Motion Ltd. and Sony Ericsson had settled their respective case with Traffic Information.

Now Traffic Information has accused Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, LivingSocial, Loopt, Wanderspot, Where, Woodforest National Bank, Yelp and Zillow for infringing the ‘862 patent. The lawsuit was filed on July 29, 2011 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. This article states that Traffic Information is managed by Kevin Russell of Portland IP boutique Chernoff, Vilhauer, McClung & Stenzel, and Bruce DeKock of medical research company Bend Research.

Further details of the ‘862 patent:

The ‘862 patent has 34 claims and has the same specification as the ‘606 patent. You can find the claim construction of the ‘862 patent (Google V/s Traffic Information) here.

A system for providing traffic information to a plurality of mobile users connected to a network, comprising: (a) a plurality of traffic monitors, each said traffic monitor comprising at least a detector and a transmitter, said detector providing a signal including data representative of vehicular movement and said transmitter transmitting said signals; (b) a receiver, remotely located from said transmitter, that receives said signals transmitted by said traffic monitors; and (c) a computer system interconnected with said receiver and said network; (d) a mobile user station connected to a global positioning system receiver, a display, and a communicating device; and (e) said computer system, in response to a request for traffic information from one of said mobile user stations, providing in response thereto to said one of said mobile user stations traffic information representative of said signals transmitted by said traffic monitors; (f) wherein said traffic information transmitted by said computer system is displayed graphically on said display; and (g) wherein said computer system has a map database, and said computer system, in response to said request for information, transmits map information representative of a portion of said map database, and said map information representative of said map database is displayed graphically together with said traffic information.”

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