Avionics giant Garmin and startup uAvionix have reached a settlement in a high-profile case we reported on last year. While terms of the case were not revealed—yes, we hate that too—the resolution does answer a couple of big questions many pilots and airplane owners had.
As we wrote previously in Plane & Pilot, Garmin last year sued uAvionix alleging that the Montana-based competitor had infringed upon one or more of its ADS-B patents.
The suit has been carefully watched in aviation circles, not only for the merits of the case but because it seems a test case for how Garmin, which owns an overwhelming market share of panel and remote mount avionics business in the light GA sector, would react to new competition.
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Over the past couple of years, uAvionix has introduced two hugely successful products, ADS-B units that mount remotely and allow owners to meet the ADS-B mandate with less out-of-pocket costs than arguably any other solution for all-new equipment. One of those products is a quick-mount wingtip beacon replacement that adds an ADS-B unit on the tip; the other is an ADS-B unit that takes the place of the tail-mounted position light. Either can be installed quickly and affordably, for around $2,000.
For owners with uAvionix gear already installed or for those with gear on order, the settlement comes as a relief, no doubt.
As is the case with so many lawsuits these days, the terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, but for the time being, we do know that uAvionix will continue to produce and sell its ADS-B solutions. How much that resolution cost either party in terms of cash or concessions is unknown, but at least for now we do know that uAvionix is still in the game.
Which is good to know. The company recently acquired another cleverly named avionics startup, display maker AeroVonics. uAvionix plans to merge AeroVonics’ displays and sensors into its expanding lineup of affordable GA gear.