Garmin, uAvionix Resolve Patent Lawsuit


ADS-B solutions company uAvionix announced that it has resolved a patent lawsuit brought by Garmin that has been ongoing since June 2018. According to the company, the agreement will allow uAvionix to “continue offering and supporting” its skyBeacon, tailBeacon and echoUAT products. The exact terms of the resolution have been kept confidential.

The original lawsuit alleged that uAvionix had taken and used Garmin’s ADS-B technology without permission to develop products including skyBeacon and EchoUAT. uAvionix contended that it had not infringed on Garmin’s patent and had its own method “for using Mode 3/A and altitude information.” As previously reported by AVweb, uAvionix received a patent for its “Aircraft Navigation Light ADS-B Radio” in December 2018.

Montana-based uAvionix was founded in 2015 with a focus on “bringing safety solutions to the unmanned aviation industry in order to aid in the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS).” It introduced the skyBeacon ADS-B Out solution in July 2017. Last week, the company announced that it was expanding its product line with the acquisition of AeroVonics, a startup avionics company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. Hmmm…

    Methinks Garmin folded on this one. Garmin tried to bully the little guy, and came up with a fight it was going to lose. So they paid uAvionix to not brag about winning, and everyone goes their separate ways under a confidential agreement.

    Except now we know where uAvionix found the money to buy AeroVonics.

    • Unlikley. Garmin doesn’t have a stupid law team. Since uAvonix upped the dealer price of their unit it’s way more likely they agreed to pay Garmin a royalty for using their technology. You might also take notice uAvonix didn’t up the sales price, just the dealer price so they effectively they screwed the installers.

      A settlement such as the I suggest above makes much more sense – uAvonix gets to keep on selling units, Garmin gets a royalty and doesn’t look like the bad guy for squashing the “little guy”.

  2. Glad that they fought Garmin on this and won. It seems uAvionix is really trying to offer low cost solutions instead of bilking every last dollar they can out of GA like Garmin. Competition works, look at what happened when the Stratus ESG came out, Garmin lowered the price of the 335 by $1000 to match it. Same with the Garmin panel mount navigators, they see the writing on the wall and are producing lower cost units now.

  3. I called this one when Garmin first announced this. Garmin simply tried to scare people into not buying a skybeacon because it was going to take too much profit from Garmin’s products. uAvionics is not a little as most people in GA think and they were not going to fold so easily… The reality, though, is that many people did not buy the Skybeacon fearing the lawsuit might make their product worthless and dealers were also throwing fuel to the fire warning owners to not risk it (because avianics shop cannot make any money selling a Skybeacon). if uAvionics got maoney from Garmin it seems correct to say the least.

  4. (Aonther John M)
    Garmin knew it was over when the Patent Office issued patents for both the Sky Beacon and Tail Beacon in spite of the lawsuit. Lamberto is right, they just strung it out hoping the press would scare enough people away to kill uAvionics. When reports starting flowing in about how easy it was to install both devices – you can pretty well install it yourself with A&P supervision – and how well they were working, Garmin figured out their gambit did not work. uAvionics is now working on a new version that will function in the diversity system the Canadians are installing. About the same cost and acceptable to both the US and Canada. Smart…

  5. Glad to see Garmin losing on this one. Garmin’s products have always been overpriced, and then they keep milking you with the cost of their updates. I’m a proud member of the”Never Garmin” club and I love my SkyBeacon!

  6. All you guys saying Garmin’s stuff is overpriced haven’t been watching aviation very much.
    When Garmin first came out with a GPS to compete they were cheaper than Bendix King and King had to reduce their prices. Then they came out with the 430 – a unit much cheaper than an 89b and a KX 155 combined and it had a color screen to boot.
    The introduction of the G1000 was WAAAAY cheaper than the Collins pro-line 21 and brought full glass cockpit to GA.
    They also released a traffic system (GTS 800) that was cheaper then both the Goodwrench Skywatch and the Avidyne TAS 600 (those companies had to reduce the price of their boxes).
    2 years ago they released there own navigation databases and Jeppesen had to reduce their subscription prices to compete.
    And now they are in the autopilot business – driving prices down in that area as well.
    Sorry to burst your bubbles but Garmin has been driving the aviation technology innovation we all enjoy – one reason I’m a proud stock owner of Garmin stock.