When there's a will there's a Waze
According to the class action suit filed against Waze, the application uses open-source maps Photo by Daniel Tchetchik
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Waze, the Israeli navigation startup that provides real-time crowd-sourced traffic information, was hit on Thursday with a $150 million class action suit claiming that the maps used by the company, which was purchased last year by Google, are based in part on the work of an open-source programming community mapping project. The suit, filed by Roy Gorodish, an Israeli accountant who participated in the mapping project Freemap Israel, claims Waze adapted Freemap and then sold the company to Google without telling the Internet giant that its program and maps belong to the community. Gorodish claims Waze’s intellectual property was worth $128 million at the time of the sale, of which he says the community is entitled to $64 million. Asked for a response last week, Waze said it had yet to see the lawsuit. (Shelly Appelberg)

Mapi-Pharma files for $49m IPO

Mapi-Pharma, a Nes-Tziona-based pharmaceutical company that is developing long-lasting generic versions of drugs such as Teva Pharmaceutical’s Copaxone, submitted a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday to raise up to $49 million in an initial public offering. Copaxone is used to treat multiple sclerosis. Mapi-Pharma, which was founded in 2008, plans to list on the NASDAQ stock exchange using the symbol MAPI. The company, whose chairman and CEO Ehud Marom is a former Teva executive, has research and development facilities in Israel, China and Germany. The firm initially filed its IPO prospectus confidentially on February 3. Such non-public filings are frequently used to test investor interest. Aegis Capital is the sole underwriter on the IPO. No price details on the effort were made public. (TheMarker Staff)

U.S. insurance administrator approves Brainsway’s depression treatment device

Optum Health, a Minnesota-based health care administration firm, has approved insurance coverage for the treatment of a form of depression using a device developed by Israeli medical instrumentation firm Brainsway. Deep TMS, as the device is called, provides non-invasive stimulation of the brain to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. Optum administers medical coverage for more than 70 million people in the United States, prompting the Jerusalem-based firm, founded in 2003, to characterize the approval as a breakthrough. Optum noted that Brainsway’s Deep TMS device provided deeper brain stimulation than a competing product, but it is considered an emerging service, which limits the number of insurance policies through which it is currently covered. (Shelly Appelberg)