Fitzpatrick Obtains Initial Determination of Section 337 Violation on Behalf of Johnson Outdoors
On July 13, 2015, Administrative Law Judge Theodore R. Essex of the U.S. International Trade Commission issued an Initial Determination in favor of Fitzpatrick clients Johnson Outdoors Inc. and Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. (“Johnson Outdoors”), finding a violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by respondents Garmin International, Inc., Garmin North America, Inc., Garmin USA, Inc., and Garmin Corporation (“Garmin”). After a four-day evidentiary hearing, Judge Essex found all three Johnson Outdoors side scan sonar patents, which cover Johnson Outdoors’ highly successful Humminbird® Side Imaging® fishfinders, to be valid and enforceable. Judge Essex also found that Garmin’s SideVü/DownVü brand fishfinders infringed one of those patents. Judge Essex thus recommended the issuance of limited exclusion and cease-and-desist orders, which if issued, would prevent Garmin from importing and selling the infringing products. The Fitzpatrick team was led by partners Douglas Sharrott, Robert Fischer, Michael McGraw and Edmund Haughey; of counsel Edward Vassallo; and associates Andrew Kutas, Natalie Lieber, Seth Boeshore, Lisa Mottes, Dan Apgar, Anna Dwyer and Sean Hyberg.