FltPlan.com Denies Patent InfringementBy Mac McClellan, EAA Editor-at-Large
December 16, 2010 — FltPlan.com, the largest provider of online flight planning and filing, announced that its operations do not infringe on a patent held by FlightPrep. "FlightPrep’s patent does not apply, nor is it relevant to the FltPlan.com website,” stated FltPlan.com’s president, Ken Wilson. “Since FltPlan.com does not use FlightPrep’s patented technology, we have not been, nor will we be in negotiations with FlightPrep.” Read more
Almost a year ago FlightPrep obtained a patent that covers certain online flight planning techniques. Recently FlightPrep has contacted other online flight planning companies seeking royalties for use of its patented technology. However, just a day ago, Jeppesen and AOPA announced that the online flight planning service they jointly operate for AOPA members does not infringe on the FlightPrep patent. And now FltPlan.com has done the same.
In its statement, FltPlan.com said, "After review of the patent, FltPlan.com does not believe it is relevant to the FltPlan.com website, so confidential or other discussions with FlightPrep are not warranted. FltPlan.com has asked FlightPrep if it alleges the FltPlan.com website infringes the patent but FlightPrep has not responded."
FltPlan.com also said in its statement that FlightPrep recently contacted FltPlan.com concerning the patent which is directed to “A Process for Generating Travel Plans on the Internet.” In the letter, Chairman Roger Stenbock suggested that FltPlan.com enter into a confidentiality agreement to exchange confidential information. No such negotiations are happening.
FltPlan.com launched its online flight planning in 1999, two years before the original patent application by FlightPrep. FltPlan.com has more than 100,000 registered users for its free flight planning and flight plan filing service. FltPlan.com files more flight plans daily for business and general aviation IFR flights than all other services combined, including the services provided by the government.