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Johnson Outdoors sues Navico for patent violation

Johnson Outdoors filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Navico Inc. for selling certain fishfinding equipment.

The announcement follows the company's recent announcement it had received a patent protecting its Humminbird Side Imaging sonar technology. The lawsuit is based on Navico's sale of the Lowrance LSS-1 StructureScan Imaging System.

Johnson Outdoors said its side-imaging sonar produces detailed and recognizable images of underwater objects and bottom structures, enabling anglers to pinpoint habitat, structure and dropoffs which are prime holding areas for fish, the Journal Times newspaper reports.

The company's complaint states that Navico expended substantial resources to inform the trade and relevant purchasers of fishfinding products that it too would use side-scan technology to compete directly with Humminbird, knowing that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office had approved the patent.

Lowrance, in a release, said that the LSS-1 StructureScan sonar imaging module option - compatible with HDS fishfinder/chart plotter multifunction displays - will continue to be sold, distributed and fully supported worldwide.

"We are confident in the uniqueness and value of Lowrance LSS-1 StructureScan sonar imaging," said Louis Chemi, COO for Navico Americas, in a statement.

"We also wish to assure our customers that the worldwide sale and distribution of StructureScan sonar imaging will absolutely continue as planned with full Lowrance support for years to come," he added. "Navico will vigorously defend the recent legal proceedings initiated by Johnson Outdoors."

Johnson Outdoors is asking the court to enjoin Navico from further infringement of the patented sonar technology.

Click here for the full article.

Click here for Navico's release.

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