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US appeal court rules in favour of ER Mapper

After an epic four year patent fight in the US Courts, a US Appeal Court has ruled that Earth Resource Mapping’s (ER Mapper) image compression technology does not infringe an earlier patent licensed by Lizardtech, a US-based competitor and further that the earlier patent was partially invalid.

In refusing an application for a full bench review, the Court stated: “The whole purpose of a patent specification is to disclose one’s invention to the public. It is the quid pro quo for the grant of the period of exclusivity. The need to tell the public what the invention is, in addition to how to make and use it, is self-evident. One should not be able to obtain a patent on what one has not disclosed to the public.”

ER Mapper’s technology allows extremely large images to be compressed and served over the Internet at high speed to large numbers of simultaneous users. It is used by organisations worldwide in urban planning, environmental monitoring and homeland defense and security applications. ER Mapper is a provider of enterprise geospatial imagery solutions.