posted 07-10-2015 09:36 AM ET (US)
In July 2014, the United States International Trade Commission announced :
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain marine sonar imaging devices, including downscan and sidescan devices, products containing the same, and components thereof. The products at issue in this investigation are marine sonar imaging devices, including devices to scan underwater at the sides of and beneath boats. These devices are commonly used as fishfinders, fishfinder/GPS combinations, chart plotters, marine multi-function displays, sonar modules and sonar transducers..
The cause of this investigation was a complaint filed by NAVICO:
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Navico, Inc., of Tulsa, OK, and Navico Holding AS of Egersund, Norway, on June 9, 2014. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain marine sonar imaging devices, including downscan and sidescan devices, and products containing the same, and components thereof, that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Garmin International, Inc., of Olathe, KS;
Garmin North America, Inc., of Olathe, KS;
Garmin USA, Inc., of Olathe, KS; and
Garmin (Asia) Corporation of New Taipei City, Taiwan.
A few days ago, the US ITC made this announcement of an Initial Determination in this matter:
Inv. No. 337-TA-921
On this date [July 2, 2015], the administrative law judge issued the Final Initial Determination ("ID") on the question of violation of section 337 (19 U.S.C. S 1337). A public version of the ID will be available within 30 days.
As explained in the ID, the administrative law judge determined that a violation of section 337 has not occurred with respect to U.S. Patent No. 8,305,840; U.S. Patent No. 8,605,550; or U.S. Patent No. 8,300,499.
Garmin responded a few days later with this press release:
OLATHE, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Garmin International, Inc., a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) announced today that an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued an initial determination in the investigation brought by Navico Holdings AS against Garmin. The ALJ's initial determination concluded that Garmin's DownVueTM scanning sonar technology does not infringe upon any patented aspect of Navico's downscan technology.
"Garmin is very pleased with the ALJ's initial determination that our DownVue products are not covered by any Navico patent," said Andrew Etkind, Garmin's vice president and general counsel. "This ruling demonstrates the steadfast determination by Garmin to fight any and all baseless patent claims."
"Our competitors have been investing their resources in baseless litigation which does not benefit customers or the industry. We believe that investing in research and development results in unique innovations such as our DownVue sonar that offer superior value to our customers. This legal victory validates our approach."
The ruling is subject to review by the ITC.