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Lawsuit filed over side-imaging technology

Johnson Outdoors Inc. manufacturers of Humminbird sounders, today announced it had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Navico, Inc. for an infringement of a U.S. Patent by Navico’s sale of the Lowrance LSS-1 StructureScan Imaging System.

Johnson Outdoors’ patent protects the Humminbird Side Imaging sonar technology, introduced in the Humminbird 900 series fishfinder models in 2005. On January 26, 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Johnson Outdoors’  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, Johnson Outdoors.

In response to the lawsuit, Navico has re-affirmed that the Lowrance LSS-1 StructureScan sonar imaging module option – compatible with HDS fishfinder/chartplotter multifunction displays – will continue to be sold, distributed and fully supported worldwide.

Lowrance had publicly announced the 2009 availability of LSS-1 StructureScan sonar imaging on February 20, 2009, at the US-based Bassmaster Classic Expo, in Shreveport, Louisiana. Additional details of the technology – 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, Florida.

“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.”

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