Garmin Sues uAvionix Over ADS-B Patent (Updated)
Garmin has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Montana, where uAvionix is based, accusing that company of using Garmin’s patented ADS-B technology without permission. The products under dispute are the EchoUAT and skyBeacon, which are sold for the experimental market. In the court filing, dated June 19, 2018, Garmin says they were originally involved in discussions with uAvionix relating to drones. “Over time, those discussions changed, and Garmin eventually learned that uAvionix had taken its patented ADS-B technology without permission,” according to the lawsuit. In a statement posted online Monday, uAvionix says they did not infringe Garmin's patent. "uAvionix has our own patent-pending method for using Mode 3/A and altitude information that differs from the method in the 301 Patent [U.S. Patent No. 8,102,301]," the company said. "We won’t be able to comment on the proceedings, and it will likely take some time to resolve." Meanwhile, the uAvionix statement says, they will continue to ship the disputed products.
Garmin says in the court filing it sought to resolve the dispute before going to court, but uAvionix “dragged its feet, hid its true intentions from Garmin, and wrongly contended it designed around the ‘301 Patent.'” Garmin said they purchased the disputed uAvionix product, determined for themselves that it utilized their patented technology and decided to file the lawsuit. "The skyBeacon and EchoUAT will directly compete with Garmin’s GDL-82, GDL-84, and GDL-88,” Garmin states in the suit. Garmin asks the court to stop uAvionix from infringing its patent, and also asks the court to require uAvionix to reimburse Garmin for all of its expenses and losses related to the infringement. A Garmin spokesperson told AVweb on Monday, “Unfortunately, we cannot comment on ongoing litigation.”
(This story has been updated with comment from uAvionix.)