Saturday, September 6, 2008

Nuvio and Garmin settle trademark dispute over NÜVIFONE

I previously wrote (link here) about the lawsuit between internet telephone company Nuvio Corp. (“Nuvio”) and GPS maker Garmin Ltd. (“Garmin”) over Garmin’s planned sale of the NÜVIFONE phone.

The parties apparently reached a confidential settlement and the lawsuit was dismissed earlier this week ( story). Garmin’s spokesman said, “We can't discuss the financial terms, but we are pleased with the settlement.” Nuvio’s CEO said, “We both came to terms that protected our respected intellectual property. That’s what we were concerned about.”

So, reading between the carefully crafted lawyer statements, Garmin probably paid a “relatively” small price to Nuvio so that it could move forward with its NÜVIFONE phone as well as its Section 1(b) intent-to-use trademark application for the mark NÜVIFONE. And Nuvio, along with a little bit of money (enough to pay the lawyer fees) and an agreement that sets some limits on Garmin’s use of the NUVI prefix, can proclaim to the world that it aggressively protects its intellectual property.

Garmin had planned to release the Nuvifone later this year, but announced that the rollout has been pushed back to sometime in the first half of 2009. A spokesman for Garmin said the decision to push off the release had more to do with ongoing negotiations with wireless carriers and not the lawsuit.

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