A recent post by a member on WebmasterWorld alerted me that GeoTag is widening their local search technology lawsuits to include many more companies. WebmasterWorld sharply limits forum members from mentioning particular links, but I think the member was referring to this GeoTag Inc. v. Royal Purple Inc. et al patent suit.
The WebmasterWorld forum member refers to GeoTag as a “patent troll“, which I think may be deserved. He mentions that this company went after Superpages, YellowBot, Yelp, Local.com, Yellowpages.com, and many other IYPs in the past. I was aware of some of this where it concerned Superpages, but I will not comment upon that.
There has been some supposition that GeoTag might be going after relatively small targets before eventually working up to go against a major target such as Google. It’s my opinion that a number of these companies have likely settled in order to remove a nuisance or to avoid risk of an outright loss in court.
It’s also my opinion that a larger target such as a Google Maps or Bing Maps might eventually stand up to them if they were to go after them, and force a legal decision which could void out their ability to enforce this sort of claim any further. I think it may be that their claim might not have merit when considering the full scope of related prior art — although I’m certainly not an attorney. (more…)