March 15, 2006

Updated: Garmin vs. TomTom

It's obvious that Garmin and TomTom are tough competitors fighting for an increasing share of the marketplace in a very hot category. Their sales are up, and so are their profits. The last quarter of 2005 saw big increases in sales with the holiday shopping, and both companies registered nice growth. We also saw recently that Garmin is suing TomTom for patent infringement. See our article

Well, we thought that the folks over at the Motley Fool had a good article covering the GPS market status, but apparently they missed on the patent dispute.

Apparently, John Cassat, Garmin’s director of marketing communications, was quoted as saying Garmin was open to a settlement. He was also quoted as saying it was “not that big a deal as some folks make it.” This is not the case that it's no big deal. Garmin's Jessica Myers, a Garmin spokeswoman, said he was trying to refocus the questions onto Garmin’s new products when he told reporters he wasn’t there to make a big deal about the lawsuits. “We will continue to defend this suit until the bitter end,” Myers said.

Garmin is open to a settlement with TomTom, Myers said, but “only if TomTom is willing to cease using our patented technology.”

Andrew Etkind, Garmin’s general counsel, said he expected the case to go to trial by the end of the year.

“We believe we have a really strong case,” Etkind said.

ReadMore at the Kansas City Star to clarify what is really going on around the patent dispute.

So, while the Motley Fool article misses on the patent dispute issue, they have a good picture of where the GPS markets are at currently. Info on the Motley Fool Article follows:

"Garmin is currently fifth in European market share, but it hopes to capture one-fifth of the market this year with new products. TomTom is the industry leader abroad, with 56% European market share. Here in the U.S., Garmin is the top dog; TomTom ranks second with a 25% share, up from just 7% when it entered the market here in June of last year. A third competitor, Thale Navigation, which owns the Magellan GPS brand, comes in third, though it disputes the rankings compiled by NPD Group. Thale says it is the exclusive brand sold at certain retailers not monitored by NPD, and it believes that it is really the No. 1 or No. 2 company."

ReadMore at the Motley Fool for the original article.

Read More in: GPS News | Garmin GPS News | TomTom GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at March 15, 2006 7:58 AM

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