Alston & Bird clients Navico, Inc., and Navico Holding AS scored a major victory yesterday when the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a final determination that Garmin International, Inc., and related Garmin entities infringed on Navico’s core patents covering sonar imaging technologies. The ITC issued a limited exclusion order barring importation of Garmin’s DownVü™ sonar products, as well as a cease and desist order barring continued importation, sale, distribution and marketing of those products by Garmin and its distributors.
The ITC’s orders provide Navico with significant remedies for Garmin’s infringement, including prohibiting Garmin from importing or selling its DownVü products in the United States.
While all ITC orders are subject to a 60-day Presidential review period, Garmin must post a bond in an amount equal to 100 percent of the entered value for all excluded products sold or imported during that time. Moreover, during the 60-day period, should such sale or importation occur, Garmin and its dealers would be selling products that have been determined to infringe Navico’s patents, thereby exposing themselves to continued damages, including the possibility of enhanced penalties.
In 2008, Navico developed a new type of sonar imaging technology called DownScan Imaging™, which revolutionized the fish-finding industry. Prior to the invention, fish finders displayed a low-quality, blurry representation of fish and underwater structures. By comparison, Navico’s DownScan Imaging technology generates a highly detailed, picture-like view of what is beneath the boat. The technology is now in widespread use by all major brands. Garmin was not licensed to use the technology in its products.
When Garmin launched its first DownVü products in 2014, Navico turned to Alston & Bird, which has handled numerous high-stakes patent infringement cases before the ITC. Earlier this year, Managing Intellectual Property named Alston & Bird “International Trade Commission Firm of the Year.”
Advising Navico was an Alston & Bird team led by partners Mike McCoy, Kirk Bradley and Scott Stevens; senior associates Adam Swain, Travis Iams and Brady Cox; associates Linda Chang and Chris Ziegler, and paralegal Melissa Failla.