[OSGeo-Discuss] Fw: Re: New Google Mapping Patent

Landon Blake lblake at ksninc.com
Tue Jan 9 10:13:30 PST 2007

The flip side to this coin is that Google may have invested a lot of researcher and developer hours into their current system for displaying maps online.

They do have a right to protect that investment, as any other private company would.

A problem arises when companies try to patent a broad or common sense geospatial "concept" instead of an application or invention. I think the water gets murky when you start dealing with software patents, because there is a much thinner line between the concept and actual working application than there is in something like traditional manafacturing. 

If you think about it, many hard copy map books or atlases use "tiles" to represent a larger map. That is the type of broader concept I'm talking about.

I'm not trying to pick on Google. I try to spread my disdain among all large software companies equally. :] (Well, except for maybe Microsoft, who tops my list. Even then I have to admit that I love using their Windows Movie Maker on my wife's computer. You just can't win today...)


-----Original Message-----
From: mail_discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [mailto:mail_discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Paulo Marcondes
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2007 10:02 AM
To: OSGeo Foundation Discuss List
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Fw: Re: New Google Mapping Patent

2007/1/9, mdragon at ciesas-golfo.edu.mx <mdragon at ciesas-golfo.edu.mx>:

> I don't like this patent mess either, and I agree with those who think
> that large business might be only looking for legal protection. In any
> case I think we should talk to Google and get their standing point. IMHO
> they haven't been against FOSS before, they actually depend on it.

Like getting an irrevocable, perpetual, no-cost license to any
geospatial related patent they own or may own. =]

Paulo Marcondes = PU1/PU2PIX
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