The Dacus Firm of Tyler, Texas secured a $39 million verdict for Lowrance, a fishing and boating electronics firm in a patent infringement technology case against Garmin, a competitor.
Navico Inc., the parent company of Lowrance, was the plaintiff and was represented by lead trial attorney Deron Dacus. During the four-day trial, Dacus argued that Garmin used Lowrance’s patented sonar scanning unit, or fish finder, technology improperly. This scan imaging capability has revolutionized the industry and Dacus was able to convince a jury that Garmin willfully infringed upon it.
“Most people are familiar with these brands, and probably what you’ve seen in the past and what your fathers used was old two-dimensional fish finders,” lead attorney Deron Dacus told the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “But the new tech produces a picture like image. If there was a tree below your boat, it would look like a picture you’d hang on your wall.”
Dacus added that the jury found Garmin guilty of bad faith actions, which is why the plaintiff will “seek an enhancement and trebling of the jury’s damages based on the finding of willfulness” at a later date.
“To some extent, when you’re preparing for a case like this, you have to become an expert,” Dacus said. “But of course, both sides retained experts in sonar. As attorneys, we really rely on outside experts to help explain matters to juries.”
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