RunwayFinder To Fight FlightPrep Patent

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RunwayFinder owner Dave Parsons says he will fight the patent awarded FlightPrep for online flight planning. In a blog post Parsons says he thinks he's found enough holes in the patent to defend his service's technology against it. "I think there is a clear path toward fighting the lawsuit against RunwayFinder, and potentially a way to invalidate their patent," Parsons wrote. He plans to represent himself and he won't have much time to prepare. He must answer the lawsuit filed by FlightPrep by Dec. 28. Meanwhile. FlightPrep is defending itself in the court of public opinion.

In its most recent blog post, FlightPrep attempts to clear up what it claims are misconceptions about the patent, the lawsuit and the players involved. It also notes that patent protection is a constitutional right established to promote and reward innovation. Parsons' plan to fight the patent is a sharp reversal of his original decision to simply close the popular website. However, even after he shut the site down, FlightPrep declined to withdraw the suit. Although the court documents filed so far don't appear to specify damages, Parsons has previously quoted FlightPrep as calculating the damages in the millions of dollars based on a multiplication of the number of unique visits RunwayFinder gets each month (about 25,000) by the cost of FlightPrep's annual subscription of $149.

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