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.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.