DeLorme Publishing wants the U.S. Supreme Court to review a $6.2 million penalty levied against it related to a patent infringement lawsuit.

The Yarmouth-based mapmaker filed its request for a review by the nation’s top court last week. The court must now decide whether to hear the appeal.

The review involves a patent infringement case that was filed nearly four years ago against DeLorme by rival BriarTek, a Virginia company that alleged DeLorme’s inReach handheld satellite communications devices infringed on BriarTek’s patent for a similar device.

While the patent case was going on, DeLorme agreed not to import or sell any two-way satellite communications devices in the U.S. that might potentially violate BriarTek’s patent, although the agreement stipulated it was not an admission of guilt on DeLorme’s part. The agreement allowed DeLorme to continue to make the inReach devices in Yarmouth.

Because DeLorme initially made its inReach devices overseas and imported them into the U.S., BriarTek’s patent case was filed with the International Trade Commission.

In 2014, the ITC found that DeLorme violated that agreement because it imported parts to manufacture inReach devices in Yarmouth and fined DeLorme $6.2 million. In the meantime, however, a U.S. federal court ruled that BriarTek’s patent infringement claim was invalid.


Last November, a federal appeals court upheld the fine, while also affirming the ruling that the patent was invalid. At the time, DeLorme’s attorney, Peter Brann of Brann & Isaacson in Lewiston, called the split ruling “Kafkaesque.”

The patent suit predated the March purchase of DeLorme by Swiss company Garmin.

No date has been set for the Supreme Court to decide whether it will hear the case.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

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