updated 02:00 pm EST, Thu November 15, 2007
Garmin, TomTom settle
GPS makers Garmin and TomTom have at last settled their major legal conflicts, the companies have announced. The terms of the deal have not been made public, but it is known that Garmin initiated two US suits through courts in Wisconsin and Texas, charging that TomTom was violating intellectual property laws; it also called on Dutch and UK courts to invalidate some of TomTom's designs and patents. TomTom in turn countersued in Wisconsin, accusing Garmin of breaking three patents. Garmin scored an early victory in its war during 2006, when a Dutch court refused an injunction against one of its designs, which TomTom claimed was a copy of one it registered in Europe.
The companies are still locked in a bidding duel over Tele Atlas, one of the GPS industry's key map suppliers. While TomTom was set to make a purchase in July, the Associated Press reports that its bid was trumped by one from Garmin, valued at $3.3 billion. TomTom has since raised the stakes to $4.2 billion.