"Pioneer Takes Action Against Garmin to Protect Intellectual Property"

 

November 13, 2009, PIONEER announced that it has filed a complaint against Garmin International, Inc. and its associated company in the United States alleging Garmin’s infringement of Pioneer’s patents related to navigation technology.

Link to press release:

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/StaticFiles/PUSA/Files/Garmin-press-release(english).pdf

--
GM Built-in Navigation system - Samsung S6 Edge+ Smartphone with Garmin Viago, Google Maps & HERE Apps

Please pardon my ignorance

Is this the lawsuit that people are referring to when they say Garmin dropped the up coming road at the top of the map screen feature?

erasing and distance

pmhennessey wrote:

Is this the lawsuit that people are referring to when they say Garmin dropped the up coming road at the top of the map screen feature?

Could be, one news story contains this sketchy description:
"The three patents under dispute relate to on-vehicle navigational functions, including the automatic erasing of data as the destination draws near, or showing the distance from a vehicle to various locations."

So that would leave a third, most likely.

--
personal GPS user since 1992

Don't Get It...

pmhennessey wrote:

Is this the lawsuit that people are referring to when they say Garmin dropped the up coming road at the top of the map screen feature?

I just tried out a Nuvi 1390 two weeks ago and it showed the upcoming street at the top of the screen--so I'm unclear and which models have it and which don't and why??

The 1390 is a brand new model and it has the cross street info.........

NP

--
In times of profound change, the learners will inherit the earth while the "learned" find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists...

I dunno

Color me stupid if you wanna, but even after reading about the lawsuit, I still dont understand what the lawsuit is about. I mean, if it has to do with showing the next street in the title bar. Well, that seems like a basic GPS thing to do. My 765t, even when navigating to a place, does show the upcoming street name. What is wrong with that? It seems like a silly lawsuit to me, if that is what it is all about. And suing because Garmin allows the deletion of route info when reaching a destination. Duh, that just makes good sense. The lawsuit seems as frivolous as Goodyear suing Firestone because they put tread on their tires too. All I am think of right now are lawyer jokes, but none are suitable for print.

--
Unless you are the lead sled dog, the view never changes. I is retard... every day is Saturday! I still own the StreetPilot c340, and the Garmin Nuvi 765t, but upgraded to the NO "recalculating", 3590 LMT.

Green info bar...

Depending on what mode you're in, the green info bar will function one of two ways:

Routing ("Go To?") mode: (destination set / on a route)
On all units, the green bar will show the next turn in your route.

Navigation mode: (no destination set / not on a route)
a. On xx5 and 1xxx units, the green info bar will display the street you are currently on.
b. On xx0 series units, the green info bar will display the next upcoming cross street
c. *All* units will show the next upcoming freeway exit in the green info bar when on a freeway.

--
nuvi 760, nuvi 765T, nuvi 855, nuvi 3790LMT, nuvi 3490LMT - SoCal area

A translation--

Please note -- this isn't legal advice. If you want legal advice, you need to go buy it from a lawyer.

Read the press release. Pioneer and Garmin aren't friends anymore. Pioneer has been trying to get Garmin to pay for patents Pioneer says Garmin is using in its equipment. Pioneer says other companies have coughed up cash, and so should Garmin.

Garmin, it would seem, disagrees. Garmin has said it does not infringe the Pioneer patents.

So, Pioneer is suing Garmin in Germany on two European patents.

In the U.S., Pioneer filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (a section 337 action, I would guess), complaining that Garmin gear infringes three U.S. Patents held by Pioneer.

If Pioneer is successful before the ITC, the ITC could issue an order excluding unlicensed and infringing Garmin products from being imported into the U.S.

ITC proceedings are (comparatively) fast and expensive in comparison to "normal" patent litigation, which is frighteningly expensive -- a company defending itself against a charge of patent infringement in Federal court could easily spend $2 million (over a 3 year period) getting to trial.

And that's probably the cost of a complex ITC proceeding, but compressed into 18 months or so.

That both parties seem to be willing to invest such amounts should give us an indication of how much Pioneer must be looking for...

Pioneer has made it past its first hurdle in the ITC process -- with the announcement 2009/12/10 that the ITC has agreed to hear the action, which Pioneer is bringing against both Garmin and Honeywell. The ITC could have said it wasn't interested, and that would have been that, at least before the ITC.

But now the game is on at the ITC! Even in the somewhat rarified world of patents and intellectual property, ITC law is a specialty -- another way of saying that those guys are expensive!

Garmin has said it does not infringe the Pioneer patents.

Pioneer says it "is one of the leading innovators of navigation technology and has developed fundamental patent portfolio in the field." (from the press release)

Unless the parties settle, which could happen at any time, it will probably be a year or more before a pronouncement comes out of the ITC.

The ITC could find for Pioneer, and recommend an exclusion order against unlicensed infringing Garmin products.

The ITC could find no infringement on the part of Garmin.

The ITC could also find no infringement by Garmin because the Pioneer patents are invalid and/or unenforceable.

Given that there are 3 patents involved, you could have combinations of the above, and of course appeals to the courts are available after the ITC issues a final ruling.

That's a high-stakes game!

--
Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

Hmmmm.....

DorkusNimrod wrote:

Depending on what mode you're in, the green info bar will function one of two ways:

Routing ("Go To?") mode: (destination set / on a route)
On all units, the green bar will show the next turn in your route.

Navigation mode: (no destination set / not on a route)
a. On xx5 and 1xxx units, the green info bar will display the street you are currently on.
b. On xx0 series units, the green info bar will display the next upcoming cross street

Like I said above, I test drove a nuvi 1390 (a brand new 1xxx unit) and it displayed the upcoming cross street in the green bar.........

FWIW, I really wish my 765T would show the upcoming cross street rather than the street I'm on--should be a user-configurable feature.

NP

--
In times of profound change, the learners will inherit the earth while the "learned" find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists...

Patent details

Patent No.5,365,448 Abstract
An on-vehicle navigation apparatus in which destination coordinate data stored in a memory is erased when the distance from the present location to a destination is equal to or smaller than a predetermined value at the time the engine of a vehicle is started. The destination coordinate data will not therefore be erased while the vehicle is actually running toward the destination. The arrangement prevents display of navigation information such as the direction and distance from being stopped before the vehicle arrives at the destination.

Patent No.5,424,951 Abstract
An on-board navigation apparatus in which one of a plurality of service facilities displayed on a display is designated by an operator input, the position coordinate data corresponding to the designated one service facility is registered as a user position into a memory. When the map is displayed on the display, the position coordinate data which has been user position registered is read out from the memory. The position on the map indicated by the position coordinate data is multiplexed onto the map by a predetermined pattern and displayed on the display. The positions of the service facilities such as restaurants, hotels, or the like, which are necessary for each user, consequently, can be easily confirmed on the displayed map.

Patent No.6,122,592 Abstract
A navigation system includes a device for extracting map data and location name data of different locations and their corresponding coordinate data; a position detector which detects the vechile position; a map display controller which displays map data on a display, and a calculating device for determining a straight-line distance from the vehicle position to the different locations thereby producing distance values. A location name display device displays location names on the display in ascending order based on the distance values, and a user selects a desired location from among the location names displayed. The extracting device may segregate the different locations based on different categories, and the map display controller retrieves map data around a location represented by coordinate data corresponding to the desired location selected by the user

RE: Patent details

Without knowing the full details, from the abstracts provided indicate the operations must not have been performed by any party prior to the date of filing.

And that would include units developed for the military.

--
ɐ‾nsǝɹ Just one click away from the end of the Internet

It's not the abstract, it's the claims...

The abstract of a patent may give you an idea of the problem and its solution.

But what the patent *covers* is determined by the claims. Each and every element in a claim must be present in the (alleged) infringing device.

You need to read and understand the claims to understand what the patent covers.

And that's not easy -- claims are written in their own language, which only resembles English... The rules on their construction and interpretation are most arcane, and even better, they keep changing!

--
Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

Patent translations

Mikero wrote:

Patent No.5,365,448

If you drive right past the destination, it will keep routing you back, but later, when you start your car to leave, if you're at the destination already, it will automatically clear the route.

Mikero wrote:

Patent No.5,424,951

This sounds pretty much like selecting a categorized POI and having its icon displayed on the map.

Mikero wrote:

Patent No.6,122,592

This covers the more general concepts of a PND, including showing maps around your current position, listing POIs by distance, possibly categorized, and showing maps around selected POIs.

i agree with you.

ORnonprophet wrote:
DorkusNimrod wrote:

Depending on what mode you're in, the green info bar will function one of two ways:

Routing ("Go To?") mode: (destination set / on a route)
On all units, the green bar will show the next turn in your route.

Navigation mode: (no destination set / not on a route)
a. On xx5 and 1xxx units, the green info bar will display the street you are currently on.
b. On xx0 series units, the green info bar will display the next upcoming cross street

Like I said above, I test drove a nuvi 1390 (a brand new 1xxx unit) and it displayed the upcoming cross street in the green bar.........

FWIW, I really wish my 765T would show the upcoming cross street rather than the street I'm on--should be a user-configurable feature.

NP

I would like the cross street. It would be great if it could be configured on user preference.

What Happens if Pioneer Wins..?

So K6RTM..

What happens if Pioneer wins?

Yes I know they'll get money and Garmin will be told to not do it any more.. but "what happens if Pioneer wins"?

If Garmin has units that already do these things.. and those units have been sold on the open market and are in individual hands, what then, can Garmin do about that situation? In my mind nothing!

Inquiring Minds Want To Know!

Nuvi1300WTGPS

Nuvi1300WTGPS@Gmail.com

--
I'm not really lost.... just temporarily misplaced!

Nobody wins...

Nuvi1300WTGPS wrote:

Yes I know they'll get money and Garmin will be told to not do it any more.. but "what happens if Pioneer wins"?

I am not a lawyer, I've just watched some of these cases unfold.

It's more likely to be settled. Going to court is a last resort. Either way there will probably be some sort of agreement to license the disputed patents. If Pioneer wins, or settles with a strong case, Garmin will probably pay a large sum to cover past infringement, and an ongoing royalty in the future. If Garmin has some juicy patents Pioneer wants, they may pay less and actually enter a cross-license agreement. If Pioneer is way off-base, then Garmin will just have to decide how much it's worth to be done with the case.

If pioneer wins...

What if Pioneer wins?

To explain this, first you have to step over to the other side of the looking glass...

Now then... You think you know what this word "Wins" means...

Maybe you did on the OTHER side of the looking glass...

But on THIS side -- there are many steps to "Wins."

If the ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) at the ITC rules in favor or Garmin... (At the start of the proceeding, the ALJ determines a target completion date, typically 12 to 15 months after the start, with a decision to follow shortly thereafter. The ALJ is allowed to move the goalposts.)

The ALJ's ruling can be appealed (by Garmin) to the ITC, to the full Commission of the ITC. The ITC can decide to not hear an appeal.

From there, appeals move to the Courts, starting with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).

If appeals fail or are not held, the ITC ruling takes effect after a 60 day presidential review period. The President has 60 days in which he can veto the ruling. This doesn't happen very often.

Once the appeals process starts, Garmin may be required to post a bond covering unlicensed infringing unsold units in the country and units entering the country.

The primary weapon of the ITC is the exclusion order which is "in rem," or against the thing itself; the order isn't so much against Garmin as it is against the unlicensed infringing (hereinafter "nasty" units) units, which may not be sold or imported into the U.S.

So nasty units can't enter the country; the ITC issues an exclusion order to U.S. Customs to keep them out. And if Garmin has any nasty units in the country, it can't sell them.

All the units that are wandering about, already sold, they're fine.

Oh, once the ITC proceedings begin, if the parties decide to settle, that doesn't automatically terminate the ITC proceeding -- the ITC may decide that the settlement isn't in the public interest and continue on its own, possibly reaching a conclusion different from that expected or desired.

Garmin also has time (12 to 15 months or so during the proceedings) to try and design around these patents, to get new products into the pipeline that do not infringe. A lot of companies do this.

While the primary weapon of the ITC is the exclusion order, the ITC's secondary weapon is declaring the patent(s) not infringed, or worse yet, invalid. In this case, Garmin in its press releases has used both terms, that it does not infringe the Pioneer patents, and that the Pioneer patents are invalid.

Having your patent(s) declared invalid by the ITC makes it very difficult to collect money from anyone else on those patent(s)...

--
Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

.It ain't that simple.

One of the key issues to be determined is whether the patents themselves are valid.

To be valid, the concept must be properly documented and filed and not be 'obvious to people skilled in the art'. It also cannot be too generic - for a patent to be valid it must describe a process or system that is not too broad. So, you can't patent the concept of 'a city', for example. But you might be able to get away with describing how to organize houses into fixed size blocks to optimize water, power & sewage - assuming no one has done it before you.

And that description must be in sufficient detail that the process and mechanism is clear - you can't draw a 'cloud' and call it a router and leave it at that if the patent itself is for a router, for example. Then again, if you said that there were 32 and only 32 houses on a block and someone comes along and decides that he'll use 40 houses on his block, you have an uphill battle defending your block concept, becauwe YOUR block was 32 units where HIS block is 40 and there is a difference that I am certain can be argued.

So, for example, the idea of keeping the destination in memory and then clearing it when you get to where you are going is pretty simple and is likely not defensible because, it would be pretty stupid to keep the destination active if you are within, say a block of that destination when you start up the device.

Next, the defender can claim 'prior art'. That means that notwithstanding the claims of the patent, if he can prove he was doing it first, then it's all well and good, but there is no infringement and may well invalidate the patent itself - something Kenwood in this case would want to avoid, since they've been collecting money from other manufacturers.

But you don't actually have to build what you are patenting - the concept itself is adequate. So you COULD patent a time machine, even though you could never actually build one with today's technology. All you need to do is to describe it in sufficient detail to satisfy the patent bureau - but then Jules Verne's estate would likely have the patent invalidated based on the concept of 'prior art'.

Lastly there is the concept of accomplishing a task using a different mechanism - this is known as 'engineering around a patent'.

It doesn't take all that much to derail a patent claim by simply stating that, for example destinations are cleared when you get within a certain distance of that point - so Kenwood's claim that the motor is started and that during the resulting powerup they clear the destination probably doesn't hold much water, since Garmin has no clue of whether the engine is running or not in their devices.

When RIM (the Blackberry people) were sued a couple of years ago a jingoistic judge ordered RIM to pay some $600 million because RIM was trying to get the patents killed (in a different court) because they were truly not realistic. The judge was being a complete a**hole and was going to jail the CEO of RIM, so they paid - but the patents WERE invalidated - to the best of my knowledge RIM didn't get any money back because the validity of the patents wasn't the cause for ordering the payment, it was the stalling tactics.

Patents are a VERY messy area - anything lawyers get involved with tends to get messy over time.

And the US Patent Office is a serious contributor to the mess because they don't do much due diligence before issuing a patent - their 'specialists' are often no more than simple clerks - I wrote in another thread that you could probably get a patent for the wheel if you could figure out how to describe it in a manner that was original enough . . . but good luck getting GM, Ford or Chrysler to pay you and there's no way they could use it to keep Japanese and German cars out of the country.

Much better to hold patents in Canada, Australia and Europe - at least in those jurisdictions a properly trained panel of experts tries to understand what it is all about. But even so, there's a lot of trash patents out there.

In fact, in rereading the one about clearing destination memory, the deal was that it was the starting of the engine within a certain distance of the programmed destination that caused the navigation to be cancelled - in fact they went pretty far to claim to use the starter motor signal, mass air flow sensor and so on as their detection device - heaven forbid they simply state that when 'starting the vehicle'. Nope, they were extremely specific about the concept and the methods for detecting motor start - to the best of my knowledge, nothing that Garmin uses depends on the concept - Yes, they may power up the device on application of power - but it isn't the starting of the engine that does that.

That one ought to be a simple one to disqualify - for Kenwood's sake I hope the others are better, but I suspect it may not be the case. I've sold my Kenwood shares.

Then again I've had dealings with Kenwood Japan in the past. I even met the then-president - they stole some of concepts from the company I was working for a number of years ago - not particularly honourable people so it won't bother me if they lose big time.

Oh, and if the 1390 does upcoming street names in the banner box, then that certainly blows the 'patent infringement' crap that Garmin's people have been telling us out of the water . . . .

So, listen up Garmin; if it isn't a patent issue, then put the damned feature back along with the missing screen detail.

--
Currently have: SP3, GPSMAP 276c, Nuvi 760T, Nuvi 3790LMT, Zumo 660T

Possible Scenario

Nuvi1300WTGPS wrote:

So K6RTM..

What happens if Pioneer wins?

Yes I know they'll get money and Garmin will be told to not do it any more.. but "what happens if Pioneer wins"?

If Garmin has units that already do these things.. and those units have been sold on the open market and are in individual hands, what then, can Garmin do about that situation? In my mind nothing!

They could take a page out of Micro$oft's playbook several years ago when they issued patches to add "click to activate" to Internet Explorer due to patent issues with the patent troll Eolas. In this case, Garmin could be forced to release firmware updates for all infringing models that removes the offending features. Of course getting customers to apply that patch would be difficult. Alternately, the court could set a dollar figure to pay off for past infringement and allow those units to continue to function as-is. Then Garmin and Pioneer would have to come to terms about current and future models. Either there would have to be a licensing of the technology or the new devices would have to have the offending features removed.

--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

Patent protection is only as

Patent protection is only as good as your lawyers and ability to pay them to defend a patent.

Pioneer is my favorite electronics company

Pioneer is my favorite electronics company and builds some very high quality stuff but there GPS systems are not that great.

--
GM Built-in Navigation system - Samsung S6 Edge+ Smartphone with Garmin Viago, Google Maps & HERE Apps

Pioneer sues Garmin over navigation technology

  • Ever wonder why Garmin changes Models so often?
  • Why features just all of a sudden disappear?
  • Why Other manufactures always have the great features first?

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

    The leaders in GPS technology, TOM TOM, Pioneer, NAVIGON,
    NAVTEQ, TeleAtlas

  • --
    Using Android Based GPS.The above post and my sig reflects my own opinions, expressed for the purpose of informing or inspiring, not commanding. Naturally, you are free to reject or embrace whatever you read.