FlightPrep/RunwayFinder Dispute Continues
The legal dispute between FlightPrep and RunwayFinder over the latter's alleged patent infringement continues to move forward but there have been a couple of twists and turns. According to the most recent post to RunwayFinder's website, owner Dave Parsons has filed a dismissal notice in the Oregon court where the suit was launched, alleging the suit should have been filed in Washington, where FlightPrep is based. FlightPrep can fight the dismissal notice and even if it is upheld the suit can simply be relaunched in Washington. No timeline was given for that bit of legal wrangling but the lawsuit itself is considered a short-term issue. RunwayFinder has also started work on an attempt to dismantle, or significantly restrict, the patent itself.
Parsons said his legal team is preparing a "reexamination request" to the U.S. Patent Office and is expecting a long process. "I'm confident their patent will be drastically reduced in scope if not completely nullified," Parsons said. "Although it may not help the immediate situation, it will improve the outlook for online flight planning in the future." Meanwhile, RunwayFinder remains offline, but another site offering an online chart service, VFRmap.com, has opened.