Alston & Bird client Navico Inc. has been awarded more than $38 million in damages in a unanimous verdict by a Texas federal jury, finding that Garmin International willfully infringed two of the company’s DownScan Imaging™ sonar patents.
The jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found that Garmin infringed two Navico patents relating to marine sonar technology – U.S. Patent Nos. 9,223,022 and 9,244,168 – a finding consistent with separate rulings this year by a U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) concerning Garmin’s infringement of other Navico patents. Additionally, the jury found that Garmin’s infringement was willful, which gives the district court judge discretion to increase the damages.
In the ITC, Alston & Bird represented Navico in an enforcement proceeding, resulting in the ALJ recommending a fine of $37 million against Garmin – the largest ever in an ITC investigation – for violating cease-and-desist orders issued by the ITC to stop Garmin's infringement of two other Navico patents. Also, in a separate decision, the CBP likewise found infringement by Garmin and stated that Garmin would be barred from importing all infringing sonar products.
A decision to reverse a June 2017 ruling by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Garmin is under review.
A privately held, international corporation, Navico is the world's largest marine electronics company and the parent company to leading marine electronics brands: Lowrance®, Simrad® and B&G®. Navico has approximately 1,500 employees globally and distribution in more than 100 countries.
Representing Navico in the matters are Alston & Bird partners Kirk Bradley and Scott Stevens, senior associates Linda Chang and Adam Swain, and associate Chris Ziegler of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice.
The case is Navico Inc. et al. v. Garmin International Inc. et al., case number 2:16-cv-0190, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.