Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Walker Digital v. Apple et al. - '014 Navigation Complaint

As mentioned earlier, on April 11, 2011, Walker Digital, LLC filed a number complaints for patent infringement in the US District Court for the District of Delaware.

In one of the complaints involving Apple, the patent at issue is US 6,199,014, System for providing driving directions with visual cues.  Listed inventors are Jay S. Walker himself, and Toby Weir-Jones.  The application was filed December 23, 1997.  [Full Complaint]  The case number is 1:11-cv-00309.  (Apple is also a defendant in 1:11-cv-00315.   More to come.)

The defendants are Apple, BMW NA, Google, MapQuest, Mio, Tom Tom, Telenav, Bluesens Technology, NDrive, Navman Wireless Holdings, Microsoft, and Samsung Electronics USA.

SNR Denton attorneys including Matthew D. Orwig are listed Of Counsel for Walker Digital.  Local counsel are Richard D. Kirk and Stephen B. Brauerman of Bayard, P.A.


Regarding Apple, the Complaint states:

Upon information and belief, Defendant Apple is infringing (literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents) the ‘014 patent by, among other things, making, using, importing, offering for sale and/or selling navigation instructions providing directions for traveling a route along with photographic representations of locations along a route, including, but not limited to, the iPhone with GPS and real time navigation directions and related products, which are covered by at least claims 1 and 4 of the ‘014 patent.

A stock iPhone does not provide this capability, to my knowledge.  Thus, it appears that running turn-by-turn software with photographic representations on the iPhone would be required for an infringement discussion to even begin.


Claim 1, for reference:

1. A system adapted to provide navigational instructions, the system comprising:

  • a communication port adapted to:
    • receive signals representing location information including a starting point and a destination point; and
    • transmit the navigational instructions;
  • a storage device having stored therein geographical information, photographic information, route processing instructions and photograph matching instructions, wherein:
    • the photographic information includes representations of photographs of actual geographic locations and photograph orientation information;
    • for each representation of a photograph, the photographic information includes coordinates of a location shown in the representation of the photograph and a direction of view of the representation of the photograph; and
    • the photograph matching instructions include instructions adapted to match coordinates of a representation of a particular photograph with a corresponding geographic location; and
  • a processor connected to the storage device and adapted to:
    • communicate with the storage device;
    • process the location information and the geographical information in accordance with the route processing instructions to obtain a route for travel to the destination point;
    • match geographic locations along the route with the coordinates of representations of photographs thereof in accordance with the photograph matching instructions; and
    • orient the representations of photographs based on the route for travel, thereby determining the navigational instructions for traveling the route including oriented representations of photographs,
    • wherein said processor outputs the navigational instructions using said communication port, thereby providing a user with directions for traveling the route and an oriented sequence of photographic representations of the geographic locations along the route.


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