ITC judge rules in favor of Johnson Outdoors and Humminbird in patent suit against Garmin

RACINE, Wis. – Johnson Outdoors (Nasdaq:JOUT) today confirmed that an Administrative Law Judge at the International Trade Commission (ITC) has determined that Garmin International, Inc. violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing and selling SideVu sonars, which the judge found infringe a Johnson Outdoors Inc. side scan sonar patent used in certain Humminbird fishfinders. The ruling is subject to review by the ITC.

“Humminbird’s pioneering, patented side scan sonar technology, marketed under its Side Imaging(R) brand, is the gold standard in fishfinders. This reflects our unique understanding of anglers and our expertise in designing products which provide the best fishing experience on the water,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and CEO of Johnson Outdoors. “We are recognized as an innovation leader … a company that respects the intellectual property of others and protects its own. Obviously, we’re pleased by this initial victory and look forward to a final resolution by the ITC regarding this matter in the months ahead.”

Key findings of the Administrative Law Judge at the ITC include, among others, that all three patents asserted by Johnson Outdoors are valid and enforceable, and that numerous models of Garmin’s SideVu sonars directly infringe six patent claims.

Upon adoption of this ruling by the ITC, Garmin’s infringing SideVu sonars, which are manufactured overseas, would be excluded from import into the United States. A cease and desist order would be issued prohibiting Garmin from selling any infringing product from its inventory.

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