Online Flight Plan Patent Holders Seek $60 million

** Screenshot from AOPA’s FlyQ Web**

The original owners of FlightPrep, a Washington state-based developer of online flight planning software, have filed a $60 million lawsuit against AOPA for patent infringement. AOPA has responded, claiming the suit is without merit and asking the Oregon court to dismiss it.

SD Holdings, a company representing Kyle Everson and Roger Stenbock, holds a patent for "generating flight plans on the internet" and the men have sought to enforce that patent in light of AOPA's launch of FlyQ Web, a new iteration of AOPA's online flight planning software.

Everson and Stenbock have made previous attempts to leverage their patent over the past several years, though they dissolved FlightPrep in 2012. Complicating the story is the fact that a new company has been formed under the name FlightPrep, licensing the software from Everson and Stenbock, but is not involved in the current lawsuit.

The figure of $60 million apparently stems from SD Holdings claiming it should be entitled to a 10 percent royalty on the $150 it claimed AOPA charges to subscribe to its flight plan program. AOPA noted in its response that FlyQ Web is available to its members free of charge.

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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