Johnson Outdoors wins ruling in patent lawsuit

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An administrative law judge at the International Trade Commission has ruled in favor of Johnson Outdoors in a dispute with Garmin.

The company said the judge determined that Garmin International Inc. violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing and selling SideVu sonars, which the judge found infringe a Johnson Outdoors Inc. side scan sonar patent used in certain Humminbird fishfinders.

The ruling is subject to review by the ITC.

Johnson Outdoors said the judge decided that all three patents the company asserts are valid and enforceable and that numerous models of Garmin’s SideVu sonars directly infringe six patent claims.

"Humminbird's pioneering, patented side scan sonar technology, marketed under its Side Imaging brand, is the gold standard in fishfinders,” Johnson Outdoors chairman and CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold said in a statement.

"We are recognized as an innovation leader — a company that respects the intellectual property of others and protects its own. Obviously, we're pleased by this initial victory and look forward to a final resolution by the ITC regarding this matter in the months ahead,” she said.

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