Garmin sues Bryton over patent infringements in the Rider GPS range

Rider 30 takes more than inspiration from Edge 500, claim GPS giants

by Dave Atkinson   March 22, 2011  

Bryton Rider 50 - in hand

In news that's not particularly shocking or surprising, Garmin have announced that they're suing new GPS startup Bryton over their range of bike-mounted GPS computers. Bryton currently make two products, the Rider 50 and the Rider 30; it's the latter, which is a similar unit in terms of size and functionality to the Garmin Edge 500, that seems to have raised the Kansas-based GPS giant's ire.

The patent infirngement lawsuit has been filed at the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas and accuses Bryton of "products of mimicking the appearance and functionality of Garmin’s popular Edge® cycle computers, resulting in the infringement of Garmin’s design and utility patents". Precisely what the alleged infringements are remains to be seen, but from previous discussions with Garmin representatives over here in the UK about the Bryton range it was clear that the company felt that Bryton had taken more than inspiration from their market-leading products.

“We are proud of the intellectual property rights awarded to our innovative products and we have little tolerance for companies that attempt to trade unfairly on those rights,” said Andrew Etkind, Garmin’s vice president and general counsel. Garmin is seeking a preliminary injunction to block the sale of the Rider 30 in the US and several such injunctions have already been issued in Germany, though they're still subject to appeal.

We haven't seen the papers yet (everyone in Kansas is asleep right now) but we'll try and get hold of a copy to see exactly what Garmin's sticking points with Bryton are. It'll be interesting to see whether they're technical – the nuts and bolts of the unit – or whether this is more of a 'look and feel' lawsuit; the latter could be a tricky win, as anyone from Apple will attest.

11 user comments

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Also actor and comedian Rob Brydon is suing them, for flagrantly coping his name, with just the substitution of a single letter.

Another "intellectual property" fear that big companies have is genericide of their trademarks. On a completely unrelated topic, I propose the collective noun for freds should be a "garmin." As in, "I passed a garmin of freds standing by the side of the road the other day. I thought they had a mechanical, so I called out asking if they needed help. But they replied that they were trying to figure out why their GPS systems were recording different mileages." (That is a true, if rather dull, story by the way.)

posted by handlebarcam [528 posts]
22nd March 2011 - 11:27

8 Likes

Do I sense another Rapha v Torm thread looming LOL! Big Grin

......I'll get my coat

posted by BikerBob [115 posts]
22nd March 2011 - 19:37

6 Likes

So what is the collective noun for those with handlebar/helmet mounted cams? Smile

Ticktock

posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
22nd March 2011 - 21:25

8 Likes

Michael5 wrote:
So what is the collective noun for those with handlebar/helmet mounted cams? Smile

a spragg

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7372 posts]
22nd March 2011 - 21:57

12 Likes

Who or what is a "Fred" btw?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4140 posts]
22nd March 2011 - 23:06

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dave_atkinson wrote:
Michael5 wrote:
So what is the collective noun for those with handlebar/helmet mounted cams? Smile

a spragg

A shedload, as in, I got a shedload of cash for successfully suing the white van man who ran me down whilst I had my helmet camera on.

posted by edf242 [36 posts]
23rd March 2011 - 0:07

9 Likes

tony_farrelly wrote:
Who or what is a "Fred" btw?

Urban slang. It can be used to describe 'fake dreadlocks', but I suspect in this case the alternative 'someone who spends a lot of money on their bike but still can't ride' applies. Generally 'stupid' or 'ídiotic'.

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
23rd March 2011 - 4:41

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I've just had a look at the Bryton site, although there's mention of the lawsuit and the 30, there's no product info on it so I'm guessing they're pulled it for the moment.

With a bit of luck Garmin will be told to go suck themselves, it just smacks of software 'patents' and all the restrictive design practice that comes with it - there's only so many sensible ways of designing user interfaces.

posted by JonD [181 posts]
23rd March 2011 - 15:32

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I grew up with "fred" as f... ridiculous electronic device. How apt for these pieces of overpriced junk.

Not so much a six pack as a barrel!

posted by Bigfoz [63 posts]
23rd March 2011 - 18:07

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Little wonder that Garmin fear a competitor. Garmin are about the worst people I've ever dealt with!
I gave up trying to get my Edge 705 fixed or replaced and put it out with the rubbish. Poor wifey who bought it as a present for me was deeply offended.
If Bryton have made a copy which is more reliable and are a company with polite and/or helpful customer services.... I want one! Likewise if it's not a copy at all but has any of those virtues.

Vin Cox

posted by Vin Cox [46 posts]
23rd March 2011 - 20:22

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Quote:
I've just had a look at the Bryton site, although there's mention of the lawsuit and the 30, there's no product info on it so I'm guessing they're pulled it for the moment.

to my knowledge the rider 30 hasn't been on the website for at least as long as i've been checking, which is back to when i tested the rider 50 months ago. so either they've known about this for a long time or it's just never been on the site. not sure which, we'll see if we can find out.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7372 posts]
23rd March 2011 - 21:01

8 Likes