GEOSPAN Responds to Recent Statements Issued by Pictometry

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GEOSPAN Corporation announces clarification of its legal actions against Pictometry International. Lawsuit and patent validity challenges still ongoing despite what GEOSPAN perceives as false and misleading claims to the contrary by Pictometry.

Geospan's GeoVista 3D Spatial Imaging Technology

Method and Apparatus for Capturing, Geolocating and Measuring Oblique Images.

GEOSPAN Corporation announced today clarifications of its actions against Pictometry International Corporation.

GEOSPAN filed a lawsuit in March 2008 in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, alleging that Pictometry has infringed and is continuing to infringe GEOSPAN's U.S. Patent No. 5,633,946, which issued in 1997 and is entitled, "Method and Apparatus for Collecting and Processing Visual and Spatial Position Information from a Moving Platform."

The lawsuit, which has now been ongoing for one year, is on schedule for a trial in early 2010.

In a separate action on November 11, 2008, GEOSPAN requested the U.S Patent Office to reexamine Pictometry's U.S. Patent Number 7,424,133, entitled "Method and Apparatus for Capturing, Geolocating and Measuring Oblique Images." This action is a procedure used by the U.S. Patent Office to allow the claims in existing patents to be contested (Ref. No. 95/001,110).

In its request to the Patent Office, GEOSPAN established that claims 17-24 of the 7,424,133 patent which purportedly relate to methods of capturing and taking measurements from oblique imagery should be rejected as invalid based on published documents that pre-dated Pictometry's patent application and were not considered by the Patent Office when it examined the application. The Patent Office agreed that the published documents submitted by GEOSPAN warranted reexamination of these claims, and it subsequently issued a Non-Final Office Action on February 2, 2009 rejecting claims 17-24 as not patentable because the published documents submitted in Geospan's request clearly established that the subject matter of claims 17-24 was public knowledge and/or obvious at the time Pictometry filed its patent application.

Despite recent public statements by Pictometry that the Patent Office has "upheld the validity" of several claims in its patent, the remaining claims of the 7,424,133 patent were not considered during the reexamination because they were not the subject of GEOSPAN's request for reexamination. The Patent Office agreed with GEOSPAN's position and all of the claims for which GEOSPAN requested reexamination on November 11, 2008 have been deemed to be invalid in the Non-Final Office Action issued by the U.S. Patent Office on February 2, 2009. Pictometry will have until early April to respond to the Patent Office decision. GEOSPAN will then have 30 days to provide additional input before the decision becomes final.

Therefore, Pictometry's recent public statements that the Patent Office "held that the majority of GEOSPAN claims are without substantive merit" are, in GEOSPAN's opinion, entirely false.

Moreover, recent public statements by Pictometry that its patent is "no longer under challenge" are, in GEOSPAN's opinion, misleading. The District Court in the Minnesota litigation decided it did not have the jurisdictional authority to consider GEOSPAN's challenge to the validity of an older Pictometry patent (U.S. Patent Number 5,247,356) because Pictometry never accused GEOSPAN of infringing that patent. In fact, Pictometry has never alleged that GEOSPAN infringes any Pictometry patents.

Pictometry's 7,424,133 patent is still very much under challenge through the reexamination procedure initiated by the U.S. Patent Office at GEOSPAN's request. The Minnesota litigation (Case Number 0:08-CV-00816-ADM-JSM) alleging that Pictometry has infringed and is continuing to infringe GEOSPAN's U.S. Patent No. 5,633,946 is scheduled to go to trial in early 2010.

For further information please visit or call Ted Lachinski at 1-800-GEOSPAN.

GEOSPAN® is the provider of spatially accurate GEOVISTA® Multi-Angle Imagery™ and GEOVISTA® 3D Spatial Imagery™ products. GEOSPAN's patented technology offers fully integrated high-resolution 360º oblique aerial and street-level GEOVISTA® imagery. GEOVISTA® panoramic imagery solutions support a variety of state and local government GIS applications including E9-1-1, emergency management, homeland security, law enforcement, planning, property assessing, infrastructure inventory, pavement analysis, and transportation. GEOVISTA® solutions also serve a variety of private sector markets including real estate.

Ted Lachinski, President
GEOSPAN Corporation

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