RunwayFinder, FlightPrep Settle Lawsuit

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RunwayFinder owner Dave Parsons says he'll return contributions made to a legal defense fund now that he and the owners of FlightPrep have settled a patent infringement lawsuit out of court. He's also clearly signed a confidentiality agreement with FlightPrep, which was the flashpoint in his well-publicized battle against the suit, launched by FlightPrep late last year. "Sorry, but I can't comment," he said in response to an AVweb e-mail inquiry about the settlement Tuesday. "I will say that if anybody feels upset by the outcome, I'm refunding donations by request." As we extensively reported in December and January, RunwayFinder was initially determined to fight the infringement suit and try to dismantle the patent itself. The lawsuit has now gone away but the status of RunwayFinder's application to the Patent Office to revisit the patent is not clear. FlightPrep did not respond to our request for comment by our deadline.

The FlightPrep/RunwayFinder ruckus touched a chord in the GA community and inspired the creation of an online boycott site that has since been deactivated. Now Parsons has had a change of heart about the boycott. "RunwayFinder does not ask for or support any further boycott of FlightPrep, its services, products, or owners," Parsons wrote on his site. "This is a big win for RunwayFinder and the pilots who depend on its services!" Parsons is now working on updating the charts on his site and hopes to be back in business, under license to FlightPrep, soon. Meanwhile, anyone interested in the blow-by-blow legal battle from the perspective of a patent attorney can view Lionel Lavenue's analysis here (PDF).