Navico, parent company to the Lowrance, Simrad and B&G brands, just announced that an Enforcement Initial Determination (EID) filed by an International Trade Commission (ITC) Administrative Law Judge on May 25 finds that Garmin violated cease-and-desist orders given in 2015 concerning the importation and sale of products featuring DownVü scanning sonar technology. As such, the Judge recommended a $37 million fine for violating the ITC orders.
“For the third time, we have prevailed in our patent disputes with Garmin,” stated Leif Ottosson, CEO, Navico. “This time, an Administrative Law Judge determined not only that Garmin has infringed Navico’s patents but also that there was evidence of bad faith. As far as we know, the recommended fine is the largest ever, so it is clear that the Administrative Law Judge found Garmin’s disregard for the cease-and-desist orders particularly troublesome. As we have stated throughout this process, the ruling confirms that Garmin must cease all importations and sales of the offending products in the distribution channels, and failure to do so means that the company continues to violate the ITC orders. Garmin says that they will appeal the ruling, but as with previous appeals we feel confident that we once again will prevail. In any event, Garmin must immediately conform to the ITC’s orders, and another appeal doesn’t change this fact.”
In the recent EID, the Administrative Law Judge also determined that Garmin’s “design-around” DownVü solution with a tilted transducer element also infringed upon Navico’s sonar technology patents. More details are to come.