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ReelJerks
01-27-2010, 01:49 AM
Here's a little something I picked up from some outside reading and I thought I'd share.

PRESS RELEASE ON THE PATENT:

Press Release from Humminbird:
>
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>
> Patent Approved for Humminbird's Innovative
> Side Imaging® Fishfinder Technology
>
> EUFAULA, Ala. (Jan. 26, 2010) - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted U.S. Patent No. 7,652,952 to Johnson Outdoors Inc. for the Humminbird® Side Imaging® technology. The approved patent protects Humminbird's Side Imaging sonar systems from unauthorized copying.
>
> "Our Side Imaging sonar technology is one of the most heralded innovations in the marine electronics industry in decades," said Kelly Grindle, Group Vice President of Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics & Watercraft. "It is a game changer for anglers who demand the best equipment available to help locate and catch more fish."
>
> Humminbird first introduced Side Imaging sonar in 2005 in two of its 900-Series fishfinder models. Spurred by consumer demand, Humminbird expanded its offering of Side Imaging models to its 700-, 800-, and 1100-SeriesT product lines.
>
> Side Imaging sonar produces dramatically detailed and recognizable images of underwater objects and the bottom. These images allow anglers to pinpoint habitat, structure and drop-offs, which are prime holding areas for fish. With a coverage area of up to 480 feet side-to-side, anglers can search more water in less time to find the most promising areas to fish.
>
> "Humminbird has created an entirely new sonar category in Side Imaging technology, and we have been thorough in our product development and patent process to assure that our technology is sound," said Grindle. "We continue our efforts to enhance Side Imaging technology and will offer more features in the near future."
>
> For more information visit humminbird.com, contact Humminbird, 678 Humminbird Lane, Eufaula, AL 36027, or call 800-633-1468.
>
> Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. consists of the Humminbird®, Geonav®, Minn Kota® and Cannon® brands. Humminbird is a leading innovator and manufacturer of fishfinders, fishfinder/GPS combo units, chartplotters, marine radios and digital depth gauges. Geonav is a manufacturer of high-quality, easy-to-use marine electronics products. Minn Kota is the world's leading manufacturer of electric trolling motors, as well as offering a complete line of battery chargers, Trim Tabs and marine accessories. Cannon is the leader in controlled-depth fishing and includes a full line of downrigger products and accessories




PRESS RELEASE ON THE LAW SUIT:

Johnson Outdoors Files Suit in Federal Court Against Maker of Lowrance
Navico 'Willfully Infringed' on Side Imaging(R) Patent

Press Release Source: Johnson Outdoors Inc. On Wednesday January 27, 2010, 9:00 am

RACINE, Wisc., Jan. 27, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Johnson Outdoors Inc. (Nasdaq:JOUT - News) 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.

ABOUT JOHNSON OUTDOORS MARINE ELECTRONICS, INC.

Johnson Outdoors Marine Electronics, Inc. consists of the Humminbird®, GEONAV®, Minn Kota® and Cannon® brands. Humminbird is a leading innovator and manufacturer of fishfinders, fishfinder/GPS combo units, chartplotters, marine radios and digital depth gauges. Geonav is a manufacturer of high-quality, easy-to-use marine electronics products. Minn Kota is the world's leading manufacturer of electric trolling motors, as well as offering a complete line of battery chargers, Trim Tabs and marine accessories. Cannon is the leader in controlled-depth fishing and includes a full line of downrigger products and accessories.

ABOUT JOHNSONOUTDOORS INC.

JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that turns ideas into adventure with innovative, top-quality products. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft, Marine Electronics, Diving and Outdoor Equipment. Johnson Outdoors' familiar brands include, among others: Old Town® canoes and kayaks; Ocean KayakT and Necky® kayaks; Lendal® paddles; Carlisle® and Extrasport® paddling accessories; Minn Kota® motors; Cannon® downriggers; Humminbird® fishfinders; GEONAV® marine electronics; SCUBAPRO® UWATEC® and Seemann® dive equipment; Silva® compasses; Tech4O® digital instruments; and Eureka!® tents.

......

To me...the OBVIOUS outcome from this suit is protection to HB from Furuno, Raymarine, Garmin, Sytex, and even the high-end manufacturers from 'side imaging' competition.
What happens between Navico and HB? That could take years to sort out.

Edd

OYD
01-27-2010, 05:31 AM
This was expected. Lowrance is further trying to mimic some of the Humminbird basics. In march, a new series is to be released which finally have a quick disconnect base like the smaller Humminbirds have had for ages. That is one feature I really like on my Humminbirds that my Lowrance unit does not have. I do not like leaving the head unit on the boat, but the Lowrance is such a pain to remove and install, most of us leave it on. My Humminbird head units come off before the boat(s) hit the road for home and do not go back on until preparing to launch.

ReelJerks
01-27-2010, 06:17 AM
I just received this email from Lowrance.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

January 27, 2010




Gordon Sprouse

Navico

918-438-8615

gordon.sprouse@navico.com



LOWRANCE AFFIRMS CONTINUED COMMITMENT FOR DISTRIBUTION AND SUPPORT OF STRUCTURESCAN™ SONAR IMAGING TECHNOLOGY

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 www.lowrance.com.
-30-
About Lowrance:
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®. www.navico.com


I'll keep you as informed as I can.

Edd

airmec
01-27-2010, 05:29 PM
Now if they would just get into a price war

OYD
01-28-2010, 01:25 AM
This issue will work out in the end so no need to panic. If there is infringement, $$$ usually takes care of the issue. I expect that in the long run, both companies will have their fancy imaging on the market.

ReelJerks
01-28-2010, 01:58 AM
This issue will work out in the end so no need to panic.* If there is infringement, $$$ usually takes care of the issue.* I expect that in the long run, both companies will have their fancy imaging on the market.

Where is there any panic? What I've seen in past infringement issues is a trade of intellectual or proprietary properties. I posted because it's newsworthy. Structure Scan and Side Imaging are here to stay. As I said earlier, this will really slow down the other players should they decide to go there.

Edd

TS5655
01-28-2010, 10:24 AM
And once again the lawyers will win. >:( >:(

ReelJerks
01-28-2010, 11:23 PM
The ONLY winners. Structure scan and side scanners have been around for a long time. Humminbird was just the first to deliver it in a small recreational package.

Edd

Dennis
01-29-2010, 09:02 AM
Raymarine had a side scan but it's imaging was no where near the quality of either Hummingbird or Lowrance.

airmec
01-30-2010, 12:20 PM
Reality is we are the winners we have in a little box what only a few years ago would have sunk most of the boats we have. They will settel their case and someone will bring out a yet better system for more $$$.
I can 't wait untill the arm's guys get on board and we get lures that lock on to the wanted fish and hook themselfs ;D
It's real frustrating to see all those fish on the screen or hanging out in the trees and the tree is all you can catch.

ReelJerks
01-31-2010, 01:16 AM
I can 't wait untill the arm's guys get on board and we get lures that lock on to the wanted fish and hook themselfs ;D

[smiley=rotfl2.gif] [smiley=rotfl.gif] [smiley=rotfl2.gif] [smiley=rotfl.gif] [smiley=rotfl2.gif]

Edd

hotdog
01-31-2010, 04:27 AM
I don't know if Lowrance infringed on Hummingbird but I'm glad to see some competition surrounding this technology, the $1,200 - $1,500 initial price was way out of my range. Once the price gets down to about half of that, I'll be all over it.

ReelJerks
01-31-2010, 09:43 AM
Lowrance advertised their product for $599 prior to it's public debut. $1200 to 1500 ?

Edd

hotdog
01-31-2010, 01:57 PM
Hummingbird introduced this tech. a few years ago (in a small sounder) and that's what I was referring to.

ReelJerks
02-01-2010, 01:35 AM
Hummingbird introduced this tech. a few years ago (in a small sounder) and that's what I was referring to.
Well I'm not a HB user so I don't really follow their stuff. WOW $1200......