Alston & Bird client Navico Inc. has won an initial determination by a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Administrative Law Judge, who recommended a $37 million fine against Garmin International Inc. and related Garmin entities. The penalty – the largest ever in an ITC investigation – concerns Garmin’s importation and sale of fishfinder products that utilize scanning sonar technologies patented by Navico.
In the initial determination, the ITC Administrative Law Judge ruled that Garmin violated the ITC’s December 2015 cease-and-desist orders by continuing to import and sell infringing products. The commission had earlier held that Garmin’s fishfinder products infringed two of three patents asserted by Navico and its Norwegian parent company in violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, thus entering cease-and-desist orders and a limited exclusion order.
In the newly issued initial determination, the Administrative Law Judge found that a replacement design by Garmin also infringes Navico’s sonar technology patents.
The ruling is the latest in a string of decisions favoring Navico. Following its 2015 orders, the commission issued a ruling in August 2016 that modified the ITC’s limited exclusion order, strengthening the scope of that order. Also, U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently issued its own ruling concluding that Garmin infringes Navico’s patents and prohibiting Garmin’s affected products from being imported into the United States.
Representing Navico in the matter are Alston & Bird partners Kirk Bradley and Scott Stevens, senior associates Adam Swain and Linda Chang, and associate Chris Ziegler of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice.
The case is Certain Marine Sonar Imaging Devices, Including Downscan and Sidescan Devices, Products Containing the Same, And Components Thereof, investigation number 337-TA-921 (Enforcement), before the U.S. International Trade Commission.