Lawsuit claims Apple Maps infringes on navigation patents

Apple has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that its Apple Maps platform infringes on a pair of navigation-related patents.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday, names New Jersey-based non-practicing entity Omnitek as its plaintiff and takes aim at Apple’s navigation platforms.

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.

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.

The plaintiff alleges that Apple directly and knowingly infringes on its intellectual property, and that its actions “aid and abet others to infringe” by way of advertising or providing instruction manuals to Apple Maps users.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial, and seeks damages and attorneys’ fees.

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