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Internet imaging players teaming up

Interactive Pictures and Live Picture have decided to stop competing and start collaborating.

    Interactive Pictures and Live Picture have made up and are now in the process of making a new product together.

    The two companies, which were in the midst of a patent dispute over Live Pictures' use of patented Interactive Pictures technologies in its PhotoVista software, have decided to stop competing and start collaborating.

    Both companies work in Internet imaging: the process of creating and distributing pictures over the Net. Interactive Pictures makes patented software that creates "immersive" or panoramic images, according to its vice president of marketing, Ed Lewis.

    Interactive Pictures develops and markets products based on its IPIX technology, which creates virtual environments with unlimited viewing perspectives by combining the viewpoints of several photographs.

    Live Picture, whose chairman is former Apple CEO John Sculley, specializes in server software that allows the end user to choose the degree of resolution in any given picture.

    Both technologies are used in Web sites that need to offer surfers a more interactive experience, like real estate sites that show the inside of homes and auto sites that show every angle of a car.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Live Picture agrees to drop the "fish-eye" and wide-angle technology that were in dispute and only use Interactive Pictures' technology in its PhotoVista software, which creates panoramic images by stitching together several photographs taken with different types of lenses.

    Live Picture's director of communications, Kate Hutchison, pointed out that PhotoVista has not been recalled, and the updated version is available for download over the Internet.

    The two companies are also working on an unnamed product still in development, which Lewis says will "develop a whole new generation of imaging over the Internet."