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Pioneer sues Garmin over satnav technology

Negotiations over patent licensing break down

Japan's Pioneer has lodged a complaint with the US International Trade Commission against rival navigation-system maker Garmin, alleging some of its products infringe on Pioneer patents.

The complaint comes after negotiations between the two companies over licensing of the patents broke down.

"Pioneer has been negotiating in good faith also with Garmin for a license to Pioneer’s navigation patent portfolio," it said in a statement issued today. "However, since the value of the portfolio has not been fairly evaluated by Garmin, Pioneer determined that litigation is necessary in order to protect its intellectual property in the navigation product field."

Pioneer has asked the ITC to bar Garmin from importing into the US products that it alleges infringe upon three of its patents.

The patents, US numbers 5,365,448, 5,424,951 and 6,122,592 cover various aspects of a car navigation system including, for example, the automatic deletion of navigation data when a destination point is neared.

The US complaint follows an October action against Garmin in the District Court of Dusseldorf in Germany. That lawsuit alleged infringement by Garmin of two European patents held by Pioneer: numbers 0 775 892 and 0 508 681.


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