A US judge has thrown out a request for an injunction to block distribution of the Google Earth mapping program.
Judge Douglas Woodlock rejected the request from Skyline Software Systems, which claims that Google Earth infringed its terrain mapping patent. Skyline first filed a lawsuit in 2004 against Keyhole, a maker of mapping software.
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Google became embroiled in the lawsuit after it bought Keyhole and used the acquired technology to build Google Earth. The full case is set to be heard later this year.
The search engine giant has also released a new beta version of the Google Earth software, aimed at giving users an easier interface.
The beta 4 release also enhances the function that allows users to add and share data and offers “textured” images, showing the texture of materials like bricks or glass. The new version is available in German, Italian, Spanish and French as well as English.