The US Supreme Court has ruled that Google should defend its claims on the use of four patents in its Streetview service to which a company called Vederi LLC asserts the rights.
A district judge ruled in 2014 that Google had not infringed on the patents, but this was overturned by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and Google's appeal against this latter decision has been thrown out.
The case will now go back to the lower courts for further inspection
"Both Google and Vederi LLC have developed computerised methods of taking a virtual tour of a neighbourhood to see what it looks like from ground level. Vederi has four patents on the process, and has sued Google for illegally copying them," it confirmed.
"In its petition to the court, Google argued that Vederi narrowed the scope of its claimed invention when it modified its claims to satisfy [the] US Patent and Trademark Office. The Federal Circuit rejected that claim, but left the issue of infringement to the trial court, the Court of Federal Claims."
V3 has asked Google to comment on the ruling of the court. It has not been possible to contact Vederi, which launched its claims against Google in 2010.
The claims were based around software that can take geographical information and render it for computers. Google argued that the claim was too broad, and asked for a narrower scope to be considered.
This is not the first controversy to hit Streetview. Google was forced to address a number of concerns about privacy after its vehicles were found to be taking more identifiable information than anyone thought.
Google was censured by the UK Information Commissioner's Office, and began to delete the data in 2010.
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