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Feb 11, 2006

Garmin Sues TomTom Maker Over Patents

From the Wichita Eagle:
Garmin Ltd. has filed two lawsuits against European rival TomTom Inc., claiming the company is using Garmin-patented technology in its GPS devices.

In the suits, filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wis., Olathe-based Garmin says TomTom has infringed on five Garmin U.S. patents protecting technology used in its Global Positioning System devices.

All the patents covered in the lawsuits are aimed at making GPS navigators easier to use. For example, one patent deals with technology that simplifies the maps showing a vehicle's location by eliminating streets the device determines aren't important to the driver's route.
Officials for Amsterdam-based TomTom denied Garmin's allegations.
The Eagle says Garmin and TomTom have been fighting for market share in Europe for a while. TomTom decided to invade Garmin's home turf last fall, advertising their product extensively on U.S. television.