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Garmin, TomTom Claim Court Victory

12/27/2006 01:18:00 PM Eastern

Concord, Mass. — Garmin and TomTom each claimed victory recently when a federal judge in Wisconsin issued a summary judgment late last week that dismissed patent infringement claims that each had filed against the other company.

In early February 2006, Garmin filed suit against TomTom, claiming that it infringed upon five of Garmin’s patents regarding ease of use in GPS products. TomTom then filed a patent infringement suit against Garmin, according to Garmin.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb dismissed many of the claims, but Garmin said that the ruling did not resolve all the claims and that Garmin intends to pursue these additional claims.

A TomTom spokeswoman said she could not comment on legal matters. However, the company said in a prepared release, “We are pleased with the recognition of the Wisconsin court that this was not a valid case. We did not start this fight and tried to convince Garmin that the case did not have merit,” according to TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn, adding, “Garmin has spent considerable amounts of money and manpower to try and stop Tomtom making inroads into the US market. The net result is that many of their claims were invalidated. We are hopeful that Garmin will return to competing in the marketplace instead of wasting resources on litigation.”

Garmin claims it owns 289 US patents and 13 foreign patents and has 181 patent applications pending.

For its part, Garmin said, “We are pleased with Judge Crabb’s rejection of TomTom’s infringement claims again Garmin,” according to Andrew Etkind, Garmin’s general counsel.

Garmin will pursue additional claims against TomTom both in the Wisconsin court and in the Eastern District of Texas where it filed a separate patent infringement action against TomTom in August.