Sued over 300 firms over 'internet organizer' patent

Microsoft and Google team up on GeoTag ‘patent troll’

Microsoft and Google have teamed up in a legal action against a ‘patent troll’ firm that filed more than 300 lawsuits alleging infringement of a geotagging-like patent.

The company GeoTag Inc filed a patent in 1996 called "Internet organizer for accessing geographically and topically based information" which was subsequently granted in 1999.

Microsoft and Google are seeking to have the patent declared invalid on the basis of prior art, as well as seeing an injunction to step the firm from suing the firm’s customers.

"The asserted patent has changed hands several times. Some of the previous owners were based in tax havens like Liechtenstein, the West Indies, and the British Virgin Islands," wrote Florian Mueller on the Fosspatents blog.

Mueller drew attention to the fact that GeoTag’s corporate web site "quite telling" lists the patent prominently on the front page. GeoTag is in the process of filing for an IPO. 

"Google’s and Microsoft’s joint action hopefully comes at the right time to prevent further damage," said Mueller.

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