Navico – the manufacturer of marine electronics and parent company to the Lowrance, Simrad, B&G and GoFree brands – said that on Aug. 18, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Garmin DownVü scanning sonar products may not be imported into the United States, because they violate Navico’s patents for DownScan Imaging technology, according to a press release from Navico.
The company says this latest ruling confirms that Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) has been improperly circumventing the ITC’s December 2015 exclusion order. The ITC issued a modified exclusion order clarifying the scope of infringing DownVü products that are barred from importation.
A spokesperson for Garmin said the company disagrees with Navico’s assessment of the new order from the ITC and will soon issue a response. (Update: Garmin issued a response on August 29.)
Navico says the ITC’s Cease and Desist Orders remain active, barring Garmin and its distributors from selling or aiding others in the sale of these products. According to the company, the ITC’s orders will block the import, sale and promotion of current DownVü products, including the Striker, echoMAP and GPSMAP products sold with their respective transducers.
“We are pleased that the ITC once again has ruled in our favor. It’s clear from the rulings that Garmin’s DownVü products from the start have infringed our patents, and it surprises me that a company claiming to respect other companies’ intellectual property would improperly circumvent the ITC’s orders by importing and selling these products in the U.S. market,” said Leif Ottosson, CEO of Navico. “We have offered a license for DownScan Imaging technology to all major manufacturers in the market, but in this and every other matter of patent infringement, we will continue to vigorously defend our intellectual property and innovations.”
The International Trade Commission is an independent governmental agency in Washington, D.C. responsible for addressing patent infringement disputes relating to goods that are manufactured abroad and imported into the United States. Garmin’s DownVü products are manufactured and imported from Taiwan.