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TomTom 5 Garmin 3 as TomTom win US Patent case.
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MikeB
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:31 am    Post subject: TomTom 5 Garmin 3 as TomTom win US Patent case. Reply with quote

Last week with the hubbub of Christmas and the New Year celebrations a significant court battle was resolved in Wisconsin, USA. TomTom successfully defended a court case where Garmin claimed that TomTom were infringing five of its patents. On the other side of the coin in the same courtroom battle Garmin successfully defended against 3 counter filed patent infringements.

Reading the press releases issued by both companies is quite interesting as both are appearing to claim complete victory... Who is the real winner is not entirely clear, but ultimately the winner has to be you the consumer as no restrictions will be enforced for these patents on either company.

The outcome, although important, is certainly not the end of the legal battle. There is further litigation taking place in Texas.

TomTom Press Release wrote:
TomTom Wins US Lawsuit Brought by Garmin

Concord, MA - December 22, 2006 – TomTom, Inc. announced today that United States District Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin granted summary judgment ending the year long legal battle with Garmin Corp. and Garmin LTD.

Garmin had brought this litigation against TomTom asserting 5 core patents. The decision finds that all five Garmin patents asserted against TomTom in the lawsuit are either invalid or not infringed by TomTom’s popular line of navigation products.

Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom said; “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. 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 recently filed yet another patent infringement case in Texas regarding patent number 7062378. TomTom believes that this case is also without merit and urges Garmin to focus on developing the market.

TomTom has a strong track record of innovation and leading edge engineering and has been strengthening its patent portfolio considerably.

The original TomTom GO, launched in March 2004 is widely recognized as the world’s first mass market navigation product. Frost & Sullivan gave its 2006 Automotive Telematics & Infotainment Product of the Year Award to TomTom for its TomTom GO range of products – “This range has revolutionised the automotive sector, particularly the aftermarket, while firmly establishing TomTom as the undisputed market leader among competing portable navigation systems. The introduction of the TomTom GO in 2004 fundamentally transformed the in-car infotainment systems aftermarket into a billion-dollar industry.” TomTom has now shipped in excess of 6 million navigation devices and is the world’s undisputed leader in terms of volume.

TomTom’s latest product, the TomTom ONE, has been selected as ‘Best Buy’ by a leading US consumer organization.


Garmin Press Release wrote:
Garmin Obtains Complete Victory on TomTom Patents, Will Pursue Own Patent Claims Against TomTom

CAYMAN ISLANDS/December 23, 2006/PR Newswire - Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN) announced today that it has received a decision from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on pending cross motions for summary judgment filed by Garmin and TomTom in their pending patent litigation. The Court’s ruling gave Garmin a complete victory in its defense of TomTom’s claims of infringement of three patents and left unadjudicated many of the claims filed by Garmin against TomTom.

Garmin currently owns 289 U.S. patents and 13 foreign patents and has 181 patent applications pending. In early February of this year, Garmin Ltd. and Garmin Corporation Garmin sued TomTom in Wisconsin alleging that TomTom infringed five patents dealing with certain “ease-of-use” features developed by Garmin engineers. After the Wisconsin lawsuit was filed, TomTom, which does not hold any U.S. patents for technology it developed itself, purchased three U.S. patents from Horizon Navigation, Inc. and then asserted these patents in a counterclaim in the Wisconsin lawsuit. TomTom alleged that over 60 products made by Garmin infringed these three patents and sought substantial damages and a permanent injunction against further sales of these Garmin products.

The parties filed motions for summary judgment earlier this fall. In her ruling on December 22, 2006, Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that each and every claim asserted by TomTom was not infringed by Garmin, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. While Judge Crabb found that certain of Garmin’s claims against TomTom could not go forward, her ruling did not resolve multiple patent infringement claims asserted by Garmin against TomTom. While the ruling administratively closed the case, Garmin intends to pursue these additional unadjudicated claims.

“We are pleased with Judge Crabb’s rejection of TomTom’s infringement claims against Garmin”, said Andrew Etkind, Garmin’s General Counsel. “Garmin will continue to take all necessary action against those who misappropriate the innovations developed by Garmin’s engineers. While Garmin would prefer not to litigate, it will not stand idly by and allow others, like TomTom, to exploit Garmin’s technology.”
Since its founding in 1989, Garmin has been considered the leading pioneer and innovator in consumer navigation devices - and is on track to introduce 70 new products in 2006. Within the last year, Garmin's nüvi line of personal navigation devices has become the benchmark by which others are judged. Garmin was recently named by Forbes magazine as America's best managed company in the field of technology hardware and equipment and as one of the 400 best publicly traded companies in America. Garmin was recently selected as an inaugural constituent of the Ocean Tomo 300 Patent Index based on the value of Garmin’s patent portfolio.

In August of this year, Garmin filed a separate patent infringement action against TomTom in the Eastern District of Texas. The Texas lawsuit involves a single patent covering the core features of all portable navigation devices. Judge Crabb’s ruling has no impact on this Texas litigation, which is set for trial in the fall of 2008.

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vicky
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be great if these 2 companies spent as much time on customer satisfaction as they do trying to knock 7 bells out of each other!!

Lets face it they both have problems with TMC, updates and poor customer support, but it seems they are much more concerned with taking petty stabs at each other,

I for one an looking for alternatives and will be taking my custom to a company more focused on the customer!
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Eldar
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vicky wrote:
It would be great if these 2 companies spent as much time on customer satisfaction as they do trying to knock 7 bells out of each other!!


well... not exactly TT's fault this one. Garmin started it to try and block TT from entering the US market and now they are losing the European market share too despite the fact that their hardware and the routing algorithms are better than TT's. If they only could get their interface sorted, but it is not going to happen.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two confusing pieces of PR spin there. Confused

[url="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/28/tomtom_wins_us_lawsuit/"]
The Register[/url] has a story on it which picks TomTom as the winner.
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anderson2001
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:08 pm    Post subject: Pathetic Reply with quote

Got to say the americans are at it again trying to dominate the world, Garmin are to late to jump in now with GPS for cars.
TomTom is better by far.

Would not have a garmin if you threw one at me. :-0
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Eldar
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Pathetic Reply with quote

anderson2001 wrote:
Got to say the americans are at it again trying to dominate the world, Garmin are to late to jump in now with GPS for cars.
TomTom is better by far.
Would not have a garmin if you threw one at me. :-0


Garmin is dominating the US market and they had been building PNDs for cars well before TomTom brought out the Classic, but I must admit I do not understand what has possessed Dr Kao to start this whole thing.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:37 am    Post subject: Re: Pathetic Reply with quote

Eldar wrote:
I must admit I do not understand what has possessed Dr Kao to start this whole thing.


Garmin were quite early pioneers in building GPS receivers and sat nav systems and they have patented a lot of their inventions. They would be foolish to just abandon the patents without defending or licensing them. Likewise, TomTom have some patents on fundamental technologies we take for granted.

Do a search the patents they are arguing over, some of them are absolutely fundamental to the way Sat Nav and GPS works. If either side has a patent upheld then there is potentially a lot of money to be made from each other or through licensing to other vendors who are joining the exploding sat nav market.

Yes, it does result in an unseemly battle in the courts and some patents may be overturned in the process but it has to be done to protect their inventions. Perhaps they should have just quietly cross licensed the patents and avoided the legal battles (and potential loss of the patents) but TomTom and Garmin are fierce competitors and that doesn't appear to be their style.

The bottom line is that the competition is good for the market with each company fighting to produce new an innovative products to out do the other. In the end, the consumer is the winner.
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Eldar
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Pathetic Reply with quote

Skippy wrote:
Eldar wrote:
I must admit I do not understand what has possessed Dr Kao to start this whole thing.


...Do a search the patents they are arguing over, some of them are absolutely fundamental to the way Sat Nav and GPS works. If either side has a patent upheld then there is potentially a lot of money to be made from each other or through licensing to other vendors who are joining the exploding sat nav market.


I take it that you've done this search. Could you briefly describe what these patents are about? Perhaps bot the judge in the case and I have completely misunderstood the situation.

Skippy wrote:

The bottom line is that the competition is good for the market with each company fighting to produce new an innovative products to out do the other. In the end, the consumer is the winner.


The majority of patents are a hurdle to the competition, not an aid. I wish Garmin devoted their efforts to sorting out their user interface, marketing and 3rd party mapping policies instead of wasting time and money on litigation. No wonder they are losing their market share in Europe.
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desd
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Pathetic Reply with quote

anderson2001 wrote:
Got to say the americans are at it again trying to dominate the world, Garmin are to late to jump in now with GPS for cars.
TomTom is better by far.

Would not have a garmin if you threw one at me. :-0



Having seen both TT and Garmin and used them as long as you dont have a Quest2 Garmin have a far superior product just TT have the hype bit like the Ipod not the best but the kids want the trendy one

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Pathetic Reply with quote

desd wrote:
.... Garmin have a far superior product just TT have the hype bit like the Ipod not the best but the kids want the trendy one


Could you perhaps give us a list of features which make Garmin a "far superior" product?
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desd
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the ability to use your computer to keep all the info and plan routes in advance this alone is fantastic as i ride a motorbike for half the year and like to go for a run without having to look down at the map everytime i want to check how far to the next turn.
yes i want to go from Callandar to Fort William but im not after the quickest most direct route.
I just think TT fell like there designed for the massses and lack a little finesse.
It may take a little longer to learn how to use the device but you are rewarded with a better experience for a little bit of effort not just the designed to be simple to stop the average idiot getting confused.
Hey TT does the job and quite well but I just dont think its as complete a product as the Garmins (Please dont include the Quest2 in this statement as the man that released that should be sacked)
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

desd wrote:
(Please dont include the Quest2 in this statement as the man that released that should be sacked)
DES

I wouldn't even include the Nuvi range in this statement since it has none of the features which you described (I assume that we are comparing like with like) The only one point I agree with is that Garmin's routing algorithm is better, but then again TT has more options.
desd wrote:

I just think TT fell like there designed for the masses and lack a little finesse.


ah.... techno-snobbery is a fine thing, but it's the "masses" who make up the majority of buyers.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it is but that doesnt make the masses right.
Fords are a popular car but i wouldnt buy one I prefer to look a little harder and find the better kit for the task
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should have said you can use mapsource with the Nuvi but having not got my hands on one yet im not sure what it will do with a multi via point route, bit of an oversight by garmin there.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eldar wrote:
The only one point I agree with is that Garmin's routing algorithm is better....


Is that not what these units are meant to do after all???????????????
Aren't GPS made for routing?????????????????

Why would a fancy interface with more bells and whistles but worse routing algorithm and mapping software make a better unit??????????

Garmin Vs TomTom = Garmin will always win on routing, mapping and customer service (and if you disagree then you haven't read anything on pocketgpsworld). They are also the pioneers of automotive GPS waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before TomTom (for those who know nothing about GPS units).
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