Supreme Court rejects Google request in Street View patent case

Google must now defend the Street View service against patent infringement claims

google street view freedom tower

Google's Street View on the Freedon Tower in New York City.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined a request by Google to hear a patent case involving the company's Street View service, leaving the company to defend the infringement claims in lower courts.

The high court's decision to deny Google's petition comes after the company asked the court to rule against four geographic imaging and navigation system patents held by a company called Vederi. In September 2012, a district court ruled against Vederi, saying its patents cover "vertical flat" images, not the curved images used in Google Street View.

But in March 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the district court had interpreted the Vederi patents too narrowly. Google had asked the Supreme Court to rule that Vederi's patents, amended by the company after an earlier rejection by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, be interpreted narrowly.

The U.S. Department of Justice had asked the Supreme Court to reject Google's request, saying the Federal Circuit had interpreted the patents correctly.

Google had no comment on the court's decision.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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