The Supreme Court has rejected a request from Yarmouth mapmaker DeLorme to have a hearing on a $6.2 million fine assessed against it by the U.S. International Trade Commission last year.

The digital and print map-making company, which was sold to Swiss GPS giant Garmin in February, had hoped to get a hearing before the country’s highest court to challenge the fine imposed in the wake of a patent infringement case. DeLorme had been embroiled in a patent dispute for four years with Virginia-based BriarTek over the Maine company’s inReach GPS satellite handsets.

In a ruling in November 2015, a federal appeals court upheld the $6.2 million civil penalty against DeLorme, but it also upheld a lower court ruling that DeLorme had not violated BriarTek’s patents. It was BriarTek’s patent claim that formed the basis for the ITC’s ruling and fine.

DeLorme’s attorney at the time said the decision that upheld both the fine and the ruling that the patents weren’t valid was “Kafkaesque.”

It’s “quite stunning,” said Peter Brann, of Brann & Isaacson in Lewiston, of the seemingly contradictory rulings. The law firm filed the appeal to the Supreme Court.

Among those supporting DeLorme in the action were heavy hitters from some of the country’s largest electronics and digital companies, including Dell, Google, Adobe, HTC Corp. and Vizio.

The Supreme Court grants a full review and oral arguments to only about 1 percent of the requests filed annually.


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