OLATHE, Kansas — Garmin has released a service bulletin for retailers in the wake of last week’s International Trade Commission judgment in favor of Navico. The bulletin is intended to answer questions for Garmin resellers about the units affected in the judgment and their selling options and support for those units.
“There has been a lot of speculation as a result of the ruling from the International Trade Commission (ITC) on December 1 in the patent infringement case brought by Navico against Garmin,” said Garmin Marine Senior Sales Manager David Dunn. “An ITC administrative law judge previously concluded that Garmin’s DownVü scanning sonar products did not infringe any of Navico’s patents. The ITC reversed that decision and concluded that first generation Garmin DownVü scanning sonar products were too similar to at least one patented aspect of Navico’s DownScan technology.”
“While the ruling is disappointing, Garmin intentionally designed its products to prevent infringement of Navico’s patents and we will appeal this determination. We will continue to stand behind our products and continue to believe our first generation DownVü design does not infringe anyone’s patents.”
“The communication being distributed by Navico, specifically as it pertains to the legality of the continued sale of Garmin products, is inaccurate and misleading. As a valued Garmin customer, we’d like to reiterate what this ruling means for our partners and customers going forward, and address any concerns you may have.”
What products are affected by this ruling?
The products affected in this ruling are Garmin fishfinders and combination units that are sold with a DownVü transducer.
This applies to the GCV 10 and select echo, echoMAP and GPSMAP models that are sold with the transducer inside the box, which include: echo 551dv, 301dv, 201dv & 151dv, echoMAP 94sv, 93sv, 74sv, 73sv, 74dv, 73dv, 54dv, 53dv, 44dv & 43dv, GPSMAP 840xs, 1040xs & 1020xs
The ITC ruling does not apply to any standalone fishfinders or chartplotters that are not bundled with a transducer. The ruling also does not apply to any accessory transducers.
What is Garmin doing as a result of this ruling?
Garmin has already taken steps to ensure that we can continue to provide our DownVü scanning sonar products. We are no longer shipping the affected products, and we have designed, implemented and manufactured an alternative design that addresses the issue in this ITC ruling. These updated products will be available very soon with the alternative design.
Is any action required by customers who have already purchased these products, or by dealers who have existing inventory?
No. The ruling has no impact on Garmin products already purchased by Garmin customers and dealers, or any products purchased going forward. Any existing inventory of Garmin products is not impacted in any way. Customers and dealers do not need to return any products.
Can dealers continue to lawfully sell and advertise Garmin products as a result of this ruling?
Yes. The ITC ruling applies only to Garmin and has no impact on any existing dealer inventory or any products already purchased by our customers. Garmin stands behind its products and our partnerships, and would not put our customers or dealers in a compromising situation that could open them up for liability. U.S. law is clear that the ITC orders DO NOT APPLY to any downstream customers, distributors etc.
Garmin is asking dealers to field additional questions to David Dunn ([email protected]).