Garmin wins a patent dispute and is freed from a $37 million fine

Garmin International is headquartered in Olathe.
Garmin International is headquartered in Olathe.

A federal appellate court has reversed an administrative law judge’s decision, giving Garmin International Inc. a win in a patent dispute and erasing a $37 million fine.

The decision involved a patent infringement case brought against Garmin by Navico Inc., a Norwegian company that makes similar sonar products.

The court overturned an earlier finding by the International Trade Commission that Garmin had infringed on Navico patents. The appellate decision said two of Navico’s patents were invalid and a third patent wasn’t infringed upon by Garmin.

The case focused on Garmin’s DownVü sonar products.

“This ruling confirms our strong belief that Navico’s patent claims were not supported by the facts,” Garmin CEO Cliff Pemble said in a prepared statement.

Pemble thanked Garmin’s dealers, distributors and customers for “standing by” the company “during this difficult and unnecessary fight.”

Garmin had appealed the commission’s fine.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford