So many legal, social and moral issues opened up by evolving technologies…. here is just one being tested in US courts:
Car-sharing services, which let users summon a ride with a smartphone app, are soaring in popularity and recently received a green light to operate in California. Those rides could get more expensive, however, as a result of a shell firm that claims it owns patents for tracking cars.
In a series of lawsuits filed in Los Angeles, Eclipse IP LLC demands money and injunctions to shut down the car services Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and Ridecharge.
The lawsuits claim that the car companies’ apps, which let users summon drivers and see where they are, violate four patents dating from 2003. They include US Patent 7482952, whose claims include descriptions like:
“method for a computer-based notification system, comprising the steps of: scheduling an arrival or departure time for a mobile thing (MT) in relation to a stop location; scheduling a notification communication to a personal communications device (PCD)”
The patents were transferred…
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