What you need to know
- Apple is being sued by New Jersey-based Omnitek about its Apple Maps service.
- Omnitek claims Apple infringed on patents relating to how users input start and endpoints for a route.
The complaint was filed by New Jersey-based Omnitek in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday. The patents in question focus on "providing driving directions without text entry."
Omnitek holds a portfolio of patents, and claims that Apple Maps infringes on technologies described in two of them: U.S. Patent Nos. 8,645,057 and 8,224,569. Both are focused on software-based driving directions, and detail methods of providing driving directions without text entry.
The technology enables users to use methods other than text to select start and endpoints for a route.
For example, instead of inputting text to denote start and end points of a navigation route, the patented technology allows for users to select those locations using taps, drags and other gestures. User preferences, like avoiding toll roads, is also described in the IP.
Omnitek says that Apple intentionally infringed on its patents, saying that its actions also "aid and abet others to infringe" on the company's technology. The company is seeking a trial by jury.
The focus of the lawsuit is interesting, as the technology Omnitek is suing Apple over sounds similar to that of almost every other mapping service available on smartphones today. It is unclear if Omnitek will also bring lawsuits over other popular navigation services like Google Maps and Waze, which also use the same methods to input routes.
Apple continually faces lawsuits over a number of issues. Just yesterday, a consumer protection group in Italy filed a lawsuit against the company, bringing up once again the "batterygate" issue with the iPhone 6.