Garmin , renowned GPS device maker, and rival TomTom today announced the companies' settlement regarding all intellectual property disputes, including lawsuits in Texas, Wisconsin, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. Regarding the details of their agreement, the duo remains mum.
Though GRMN and TomTom have met halfway on one issue, another issue's fate still hangs in the air. Both equities have played parts in a long battle vying for control of Netherlands-based digital map provider Tele Atlas. (Coincidentally, TomTom is based in Amsterdam.)
A timeline of litigation:
1)Garmin sues TomTom in federal courts in Texas and Wisconsin, claiming patent infringement.
2)Garmin asks British and Dutch courts to invalidate TomTom's registered designs and patents.
3)TomTom countersues in Wisconsin, alleging Garmin infringed on its patents bought from Horizon Navigation Inc.
4)TomTom requests preliminary injuction against Garmin for reportedly copying one of its designs. Result: Denied.
5)TomTom bids $2.8 billion for Tele Atlas.
6)Garmin bids $3.3 billion for Tele Atlas.
7)TomTom bids $4.2 billion for Tele Atlas.
8)Today's news (see above).
Shareholders are hoping Garmin will continue its Tele Atlas war with TomTom, eventually outbidding it for a victory. After rumors earlier this week that GRMN may offer up to $60 a share for the prize, the stock took a hike upward. Since the settlement of the patent dispute today, shares of the equity have retracted more than 3.2%.