Nuvio sues Garmin over nuvifone

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions

Nuvio sues Garmin over nuvifone

Garmin nuvifoneNuvio announced a trademark infringement lawsuit against Garmin today. The dispute is against Garmin's uber cool GPS mobile phone called the Nuvifone just recently announced and due out later this year.  Nuvi claims they filed this lawsuit January 31st of 2008. Ok, I'll grant Nuvio that Nuvi is "close" in spelling.  Ok GPS fans, what's wrong with this picture? Could it be that Garmin has been selling GPS units with the name "nuvi" for years! You may have seen the nuvi spelled with the funky two dots about the letter 'u', i.e. nüvi 350. If you Google "nuvi" you'll see Garmin owns this term. If you look at Google Images for "nuvi", once again, all Garmin products. So if Garmin has been using this trademark for years, why all of a sudden is Nuvio suing them?

The Answer?

Drum roll please...

Because the Garmin Nuvifone has generated a lot of media buzz (myself included) that while it isn't as rabid as the iPhone, it's still a pretty hotly anticipated product. Need I also remind you of the Cisco/Linksys lawsuit over Apple's use of the term "iPhone" which I covered here, here, here, and here. Cisco/Linksys already had a trademark on that exact same name. Unlike Nuvio which has a different spelling, the term "nuvi" is not exactly the same.

Now you could compare this with Apple's iProductName, where they pretty much own the letter "i" in front of computer-related technology (iMac, iPhone, iPod). Same goes for McDonald's. I can't launch a frozen pizza called the McPizza without being sued. But certainly Nuvio doesn't have industry-wide acceptance as the owner of the phrase "Nuvio" or "Nuvi". So I don't see how they can win. Seems to be patent extortion to me, but maybe my analysis is off. If so, tell me. But I'll include the news release below so you can judge for yourself.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nuvio Corporation, a leading provider of on-demand business phone service, today announced that it has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Garmin International, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRMN) in the U.S. District Court of Kansas. Garmin’s recently announced Nuvifone infringes on the prior Nuvio trademark which Nuvio uses on Nuvio phones and its telephony services.

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Nuvio attempted to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution with Garmin. No resolution was reached and Nuvio filed legal action to protect its rights.

“While we would have preferred to settle this without resorting to a lawsuit, we felt it was important to ensure that our customers and potential customers are not confused by someone abusing our legally protected trademark,” stated Jason P. Talley, Nuvio’s CEO. “Our customers commonly refer to our service as the Nuvio phone.”

Nuvio’s lawsuit alleges that Garmin knowingly and willfully appropriated Nuvio’s trademark. In addition to a determination that Garmin has infringed on the Nuvio trademark, Nuvio is seeking a permanent injunction that prohibits Garmin from using the Nuvi name.

Nuvio issued a cease and desist letter to Garmin on January 31, 2008.
As well as seeking a permanent injunction barring Garmin from using the Nuvio trademark, Nuvio has requested damages for past infringement.

About Nuvio

Nuvio Corporation, a provider of on-demand business communication solutions, distributes its products through direct, indirect and wholesale channels. Nuvio offers a reliable, stable communications platform providing unparalleled uptime for customers. Since 2003, Nuvio has provided PBX services for small to medium-sized businesses in a cost-effective manner. For more information, visit

Related Articles to 'Nuvio sues Garmin over nuvifone'

Featured Events