JOI Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Lowrance JOI Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Lowrance
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    JOI Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Lowrance
from Eddie@Humminbird  
1/27/2010 10:40:23 AM




Johnson Outdoors Files Suit in Federal Court Against Maker of Lowrance
Navico ‘Willfully Infringed’ On Side Imaging® Patent

RACINE, Wisconsin, January 27, 2010 - Johnson Outdoors Inc. (JOUT: Nasdaq) today announced it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Navico, Inc. for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,652,952 by Navico’s sale of the Lowrance LSS-1 StructureScan Imaging System. Johnson Outdoors’ patent protects the Humminbird® Side Imaging® sonar technology. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in Alabama, the home of Humminbird® products for over 50 years.

Johnson Outdoors’ Side Imaging® sonar produces detailed and recognizable images of underwater objects and waterbeds enabling anglers to pinpoint habitat, structure and drop-offs which are prime holding areas for fish. The patent application process began in 2004 prior to the Company’s introduction of Side Imaging® sonar in Humminbird® 900 series fishfinder models the following year.

Consumer demand prompted Johnson Outdoors to expand utilization of Side Imaging® sonar technology across a broad range of its Humminbird® portfolio and was a key driver behind the brand’s growth over the past four years. Following a comprehensive and methodical review process, on January 26, 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the Company’s patent for “Side Imaging® sonar.”

“Our intellectual property policy is very simple: we will respect the property of others and fiercely protect that of our own. We were diligent throughout the Side Imaging® sonar technology patent application process to ensure we achieved both because real innovation brings real value which our customers and consumers expect and demand. By taking steps to protect our ideas and inventions, we help ensure our ability to continue to bring forward meaningful advances and innovative products that excite consumers and build our customers’ business,” said Kelly Grindle, Group Vice President Marine Electronics & Watercraft.
The Company’s complaint says Navico, Inc. expended substantial resources to inform the trade and relevant purchasers of fish finding products, that it too would use side scan technology to compete directly with Humminbird® Side Imaging® sonar products with knowledge that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office had approved the Company’s patent. The complaint further says Navico actively induced infringement of the patent by resellers. .

The Company is asking the Court to enjoin Navico from further infringement of the patented Side Imaging® sonar technology.

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   didn't see that coming from MikeF  1/27/2010 11:05:30 AM

   I guess by them doing this I have to throw all my Lowrance stuff away! from STRETCH1 #11051  1/27/2010 12:01:12 PM
Who really cares. Will Lowrance stop selling its structure scan? NO.

I for one will not take it off my boat and if I did I certainly would not buy stuff from Humminbird. Lowrance should file suit against Humminbird for using 2D sonar technology that they invented way back when.

P.S. Eddie is posting this on just about every forum of fishing. Did he win the lottery or something by having this notice posted on the boards? The lawyers are going to get rich and the consumers are going to suffer. Maybe Lowrance should sue Humminbird for stealing their Downscan idea that Humminbird was not even working on until Lowrance came out with theirs!

Edited 1/27/2010 2:31:34 PM

   Too Funny! from BrownTrout #10874  1/27/2010 12:19:19 PM
The Lowrance and HB fanatics are about as divided as our Congress. LOL!

   Here is the Lowrance response. from STRETCH1 #11051  1/27/2010 3:39:29 PM

Side-scanning and DownScan Imaging™ software and module add-on solution for HDS displays offers anglers and boaters a unique full-picture view of the underwater world.

Tulsa, Okla. – Lowrance, a world-leading brand in marine electronics since 1957 and GPS navigational systems since 1992, re-affirmed today that the LSS-1 StructureScan™ sonar imaging module option – compatible with HDS fishfinder/chartplotter multifunction displays – will continue to be sold, distributed and fully supported worldwide.
The announcement is a direct response to today’s patent infringement lawsuit filed against Navico, Inc., by Johnson Outdoors.
Lowrance publicly announced the 2009 availability of LSS-1 StructureScan™ sonar imaging on February 20, 2009, at the Bassmaster® Classic Expo, held in Shreveport, La. Additional details – including the DownScan Imaging™ feature of StructureScan™ sonar imaging for Lowrance HDS displays – were revealed publicly on July 15, 2009, at the International Convention of Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), held in Orlando, Fla.
Following the on-time shipment of LSS-1 StructureScan™ sonar imaging in November 2009, excitement of LSS-1 StructureScan™ sonar imaging continues to grow as media and dealer demonstrations at marine-industry events have revealed the unique “full picture” view and other unique features that this add-on module provides for owners of Lowrance HDS multifunction displays.
The LSS-1 StructureScan™ sonar imaging is based on Navico’s known and reliable sonar technology, yet it also features additional new technology not available from others, in a unique add-on module configuration.
“We are confident,” said Louis Chemi, COO for Navico Americas, “in the uniqueness and value of Lowrance LSS-1 StructureScan™ sonar imaging. We also wish to assure our customers that the worldwide sale and distribution of StructureScan™ sonar imaging will absolutely continue as planned with full Lowrance support for years to come. Navico will vigorously defend the recent legal proceedings initiated by Johnson Outdoors.”
For more information on Lowrance StructureScan™ sonar imaging, Lowrance HDS multifunction displays, or the entire Lowrance line of marine electronics, please visit
The Lowrance® brand is wholly owned by Navico, Inc., a privately held, international marine electronics company. Navico is currently the world’s largest marine electronics company, and is the parent company to five well-established marine electronics brands: B&G®, Eagle®, Lowrance, Northstar and Simrad®.

   it was just a press release from sidewayzs14 #12176  1/27/2010 4:13:45 PM

   What does that mean? from STRETCH1 #11051  1/27/2010 4:27:25 PM

   Opening Bell from Blackie  1/27/2010 4:44:59 PM

Both companies had a press release. Humminbird filed suit and Lowrance countered with it's own statement. Kinda like the opening bell of the first round. It's pretty clear that Lowrance is going to use the terminoligy like 'Addon' to displace the term 'part of a fishing system'. Doesn't really matter what we say or believe here. Both companies I'm sure have competent lawyers and are geared for the fight and it will be up to the judge to make the final decesion.

And he will probably find in favor of the company whose electronics happened to be installed on his own personal boat.LOL


   yep Blackie from jbz7 #13144  1/27/2010 5:34:02 PM
It will be up to the court to decide who is right or wrong. We can armchair quarterback it all we want and its not going to change anything.

I used to work for a company that defended its patent rights like crazy and im pretty sure they won every time. I remember when they sued a company over the shape of a product because it looked too much like ours and won. I don't think Humminbird would be going after this if they didn't feel like they have a darn good case. Companies have every right to try to defend their patents if they feel infringed upon and that seems to be what Humminbird is doing. The court will figure out if anything was done wrong or not.

Stretch to answer your questions
Who cares? Well humminbird and Lowrance sure do....
Will Lowrance Stop Selling Structure Scan? They will if the court issues a cease and desist order.

The isn't the first time Lowrance has been sued for patent infringement they got sued back in the 90's by computrol and had to settle. see

rance did not invent sonar, it had long since been invented and used commercially and by the military.

Edited 1/27/2010 5:40:46 PM

Edited 1/27/2010 5:41:24 PM

Edited 1/27/2010 5:43:17 PM

   Just another potentially frivilous lawsuit filed! from STRETCH1 #11051  1/27/2010 8:39:04 PM
It almost seems like the Humminbird pros and employees are proud of this lawsuit! On every board that relates to anything fishing the Humminbird pros or direct Humminbird employees posted this. Does it mean Lowrance is any less of a company. Are they trying to hurt Lowrance sales? This just means another potentially frivilous, bullshit, lawsuit was filed and that the lawers are going to get richer. It is up to the judge in about 3 to 5 years to really determine if this is valid. By that respect I really hope both Lowrance and Humminbird continue to innovate their products for the good of all us fishermen.

Now if Humminbird won the lawsuit then that would be huge news and really worth posting.

I could sue you for anything I wanted and would that be front page news? The answer is NO but if I won the lawsuit or it was settled then it would be noteworthy news.

Maybe I should sue Humminbird for making a crappy product but then the only thing that would happen out of that is my lawer would get a bigger house out of the deal!

Edited 1/27/2010 9:03:46 PM

   Nice move Eddie from Richards3 #10384  1/27/2010 9:05:46 PM
for a douchebag that is.Sounds like you are afraid of competition.

   Richards3 from jbz7 #13144  1/27/2010 11:28:02 PM
Any company has the right to defend their intellectual property and patents. The US has patent law for a reason and Humminbird has every right to sue if they feel they have been infringed upon. So doesnt Lowrance if the coin was flipped and id bet Lowrance would exercise that right too. This has nothing to do with competition. The courts will figure out who's right and who's wrong and rule accordingly.

Strech1 if your going to sue anyone for making a crappy product you should be suing Lowrance for building products that don’t last longer then 6 months with zero service to back them up. You would have to take off your rose colored lowrance sunglasses first…..

Edited 1/27/2010 11:29:54 PM

Edited 1/27/2010 11:30:11 PM

   My units work and always had since I threw that HB crap in the trash! from STRETCH1 #11051  1/27/2010 11:46:32 PM
My Lowrance units work. Sure I had a couple problems over the years since I threw my Humminbird stuff in the trash in 1992 but every time I was quickly and professionally taken care of by Lowrance.

   Stretch...what's your stake in this? from Jeff Hahn  1/28/2010 9:10:35 AM
Stretch: You talk like you have a dog in this fight. I have no idea who's right, but apparently you do? The courts will decide who's legally right in this case. If a company creates something, they have every right to profit from it without a competitor copying it. Until the courts decide, everything else is speculation. And, if the courts decide in favor of HB, yes, Lowrance will have to stop selling units that infringe on HB's patent or pay HB a licensing fee, if HB agrees to license them (which I doubt).

Jeff Hahn

Edited 1/28/2010 9:10:55 AM

   Stretch from jbz7 #13144  1/28/2010 11:48:34 AM
I would agree with you that in 1992 Lowrance had an advantage over Humminbird without question. I have one of that vintage too(still works btw and i still use it on my pond boat) and its nothing like what they build today. You should take a look at them with an open mind before you dismiss the current lineup. Lowrance as zero advantage over humminbird now. My current bird units work better then anything i have ever bought from Lowrance in every way. Honestly i wish i made the swap sooner. It would have saved me 3 years of pain and s with the 332c and 520c units that couldn't mark a school of fish the size of a bus.

I have owned lots of Lowrance stuff over the years( x51,lms350a,2 x85's, x125, x135, lms332c, lms520, hds5) every single one of those units had to go back to lowrance for repair some more then once(520c 4 times and lms350a come to mind). Lowrance quality in my opinion leaves a lot to be desired as does thier customer service. The only one that ever got anything done was Linda but she is gone. Your like the only person one any forum that has ever had a positive experience with someone not named Linda. I think you either work for Loreance, are sponsored by them, or have a friend of relative that work there or are feeding us a line of BS.

   the most reliable indicator system for fish is from Randy B  1/28/2010 5:13:15 PM
when they bite. I love that even more than looking at screens.

   but in the end from 1bigsnakehead  1/29/2010 12:21:09 AM
lowrance will still suck at taking care of their customers.

   No dog in the fight from STRETCH1 #11051  1/29/2010 6:40:02 PM
I am sponsored by my own wallet. When a company (Humminbird) takes an inordinate amount out of it for selling a crappy product then I will tell everyone about it!

   stretch that makes no sense from jbz7 #13144  2/1/2010 7:38:57 AM
By your above statement you should be bashing lowrance not supporting them like they are your brother.

Sorry but they have waaaay more failures then they should and dont back them up real well.

If you really havent run a humminbird since 1992 you have no clue what you are talking about, your just bqshing something because its not your brand. They perform every bit as well as a lowrance if not better and the units dont fail at the drop of a hat like lowrance does.

   Gotta love the Stretch1......................... from Jmac #10965  2/1/2010 3:00:22 PM
He posts 6 times and then says he has no dog in the fight. I agree, HB fell off the map there for a while, but apparently they have reorganized and decided to become a contender. I truly hope Lowrance resolves their customer service issues because the competition will make it better for the consumers, but without Linda Colt, I doubt seriously that much will change.



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