*NEWS*EPSON FILES COMPLAINT,US TRADE COM.

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*NEWS*EPSON FILES COMPLAINT,US TRADE COM.

 user 2006-03-23 at 11:25:00 am Views: 56
  • #15022

    Ink cartridge firms accused of copying
    BEIJING,
    March 06 — China’s exports of ink cartridges could be hit hard because
    Japan-based company Epson has filed a petition against Chinese firms
    over alleged violation of its patents.Epson filed a complaint last
    month with the US International Trade Commission against 24 companies,
    based in China, the United States and Britain.These firms manufacture,
    import, or distribute ink cartridges for printers that are for sale in
    the United States, according to information from the commission.Epson
    wants the commission to ban the companies from importing or selling the
    cartridges in the US.The commiion is scheduled to officially launch its
    investigation under section 337 of the US Tariff Act this week.In
    parallel with this case, the Japanese company has also filed a lawsuit
    at the US District Court in Portland against the same companies seeking
    damages for alleged intellectual property infringents.The claims have
    caused great concern among Chinese printer makes, as half of the
    defendants are major Chinese producers and their subordinate trading
    firms overseas.Some insiders have warned that the investigation, which
    they described as a “weapon of mass destruction,” could deal a massive
    blow to the sector.  Section 337 prohibits the import of articles that
    infringe valid US patents, registered copyrights, or registered
    trademarks. Experts believe the impact of section 337 is more severe
    than any other anti-dumping action. Cai Xiaomin, a legal expert with
    Guangdong General Chamber of Commerce, was quoted by China Business
    News as calling for all enterprises involved to respond to the
    allegations. Cai said if Epson’s allegations were proved, even products
    using cartridges as components would not be allowed to be exported to
    the US. In previous section 337 investigations, many Chinese firms have
    given up defending themselves as they were not able to afford the high
    lawyers’ fees, usually millions of US dollars for a single case.Cai
    suggested that Chinese firms get together to co-ordinate their response
    with the help of related industrial associations so as to reduce costs.
    Investigations under section 337 usually take about 12 months to be
    completed. In the past several years, Chinese firms have undergone more
    section 337 investigations than ever before.Last year Chinese
    enterprises, from floor makers to television makers, were accused of
    infringing US enterprises’ intellectual property rights in eight
    separate cases. Most completed investigations have resulted in the
    allegations being proved.
    Chinese DVD player manufacturers have been
    involved in intellectual property right infringements, and have started
    to pay patent fees to a number of well-known foreign companies,
    including Toshiba, Panasonic, JVC and Matsush*ta