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 user 2006-02-27 at 10:51:00 am Views: 31
  • #14641

    Epson Sues Several Ink Cartridge Resellers
    Printer maker accuses companies that make or sell third-party ink of infringing upon its patents.
    February  2006
    Epson has filed more lawsuits against companies making or selling
    third-party ink cartridges that it believes infringe upon its
    intellectual patents.
    The company filed a complaint last week with
    the U.S. International Trade Commission against 24 companies that
    manufacture, import, or distribute aftermarket ink cartridges for sale
    in the U.S., the Japanese company said this week. The complaint seeks
    to ban the companies from importing or selling the cartridges in
    question in the U.S.
    In conjunction with this case the company also
    filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Portland against the same
    companies seeking damages for the alleged intellectual property
    Epson has also kicked off a patent infringement case
    against the English High Court against Medea International, it said. As
    in the U.S. cases Epson is alleging that ink cartridges imported by
    Medea International, which are sold in the U.K. under the Inkrite Photo
    Plus brand, infringe upon its patents.
    The case against the U.K.
    company was brought after it began promoting a spongeless valve design
    in its cartridges as being “radically different and unique.” In fact,
    the design is similar to a patented Epson technology and the lawsuit
    was brought “to set the record straight,” Epson said in a statement.
    Similar Situation
    Epson fought similar battles in 2005.
    April it filed lawsuits in the same Portland court against Armor, of
    Nantes, France, and Multi-Union Trading, of Hong Kong. The latter ended
    with a settlement that saw 75 of Multi-Union’s cartridge models barred
    from being imported and sold in the U.S.
    In June the U.K.’s
    Environmental Business Products said it had stopped importing and
    supplying Epson-compatible printer cartridges as a result of an out of
    court settlement between it and the Japanese company and in October
    another British company, CybaHouse, agreed to stop selling and
    importing Epson-compatible cartridges as part of a settlement with

    Epson Takes Action Against 24 Aftermarket Ink Cartridge Companies to Protect Intellectual Property

    Company Lodges Complaint With International Trade Commission and Files Patent
    Infringement Lawsuit in U.S. District Court
    BEACH, Calif., Feb.06 — Epson lodged a complaint onFeb. 17 with the
    United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against 24
    companies that manufacture, import, or distribute aftermarket ink cartridges
    for resale in the United States.  The complaint, filed by Epson Portland Inc.,
    Epson America Inc., and Seiko Epson Corp. alleges that these companies’
    cartridges infringe at least nine patents that cover numerous models of
    cartridges for Epson’s desktop inkjet printers.  Epson is asking the ITC to
    issue a general exclusion order prohibiting these companies and others from
    importing and selling infringing cartridges into the United States.
        In conjunction with the ITC complaint, Epson has also filed a lawsuit in
    the U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore. against these same 24 companies
    asserting similar patent infringement claims.  The District Court complaint
    seeks a permanent injunction against infringement and monetary damages.
        Epson has made continuous worldwide investments in R&D and significant
    investments in manufacturing in the United States to produce high quality,
    innovative cartridges.  Both actions are part of Epson’s worldwide efforts to
    protect the company and its customers from unfair competition of all types,
    including the sale of patent-infringing ink cartridges.
    “Epson recognizes and respects competitors’ rights to sell aftermarket ink
    cartridges as long as they compete fairly, which includes not infringing
    patents,” said Liz Leung, director of Supplies Marketing, Epson America.  “As
    with numerous patent and trademark infringement lawsuits filed previously, we
    have taken both of these actions to protect the company’s innovative products
    from unfair competition.”