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 user 2006-08-10 at 12:24:00 pm Views: 38
  • #16021

    Legal woes block UK online ink cartridge reseller
    online ink cartridge reseller Recharge has agreed to stop selling
    Epson-compatible cartridges after facing legal proceedings.Epson claims
    that Bolton-based Recharge Inkjet Technologies Limited, which trades
    under the name CartridgeMonkey.com, will pay it a ‘substantial
    settlement payment’ and promise ‘not to infringe Epson’s patents and
    registered designs’. However, the full details remain
    confidential.Epson has succeeded in forcing Recharge to now only sell
    Epson original inks and multipacks and discontinue its Epson-compatible
    lines because of ‘concerns that they may infringe Epson’s intellectual
    property rights,’ according to Mr Scott, director of Recharge.Epson
    claims the action is to protect the investment into its ink
    technologies. Nick Butler, Managing Director, Epson UK said: ‘We
    welcome CartridgeMonkey.com’s decision to remove the cartridges
    complained of and its recognition of the importance of respecting
    Epson’s intellectual property rights.’He added: ‘Genuine Epson ink is
    the highest quality ink you can use for your Epson printer.’It may turn
    out to be the only ink you can buy if third-party cartridge resellers
    continue to be felled by Epson’s legal campaign.In these David and
    Goliath tussles, the Epson giant has been very adept at negotiating a
    victory without taking to the field of combat.In the past year or so,
    the likes of Environmental Business Products Limited, UK importer and
    distributor of Epson compatible printer cartridges, and other
    third-party importers and resellers such as Multi Union, Armor and
    CybaHouse, have been swept aside by Epson’s legal team with
    out-of-court settlements.

    Gary Flynn, Director,
    CartridgeMonkey.com andRecharge Inkjet Technologies Ltd, said:
    ‘CartridgeMonkey.com is a small company, like most, in comparison to
    the Seiko Epson corporation. But in spite of this, we took considerable
    legal opinion including that of patent attorneys at our considerable
    expense. Whilst the importer of the third party manufactured cartridges
    assured us they did not infringe Epson’s intellectual property rights,
    our belief, based on the information we were presented by our legal
    team is that Seiko Epson has an extremely strong case and that we could
    possibly lose any resulting legal proceedings.’We spoke to a UK
    manufacturer of Epson-compatible third-party inks which is also
    embroiled in a legal tussle with Epson.A spokesperson for Medea
    International said that while it will withdraw products found to
    infringe patents to which it doesn’t have a licence, it will continue
    to make available cartridges it doesn’t believe infringe Epson’s
    IP.’Recharge (Cartridge Monkey) is one of our customers,’ we were told.
    ‘I think they would have had stock of the older style cartridges that
    we stopped selling months ago as soon as Epson said they had a problem
    with them.’Yusef Okhai, Medea’s founder and MD said: ‘Epson has not
    licensed anyone anywhere to use its technology … so it is something
    of a contradiction to say it is not trying to stamp out compatibles
    cartridges that people can actually afford. Epson is using the media
    and scare tactics to stop people selling compatible products, and it is
    working.’How can a compatible cartridge be made and sold for £3, yet
    the Epson version costs £22? Especially when one considers economies of
    scale – it can make them cheaper in volume if they are really the same
    - and if they’re not the same – then why is Epson suing people? … It
    is somewhat ironic that Epson sells a product for a profit to a loyal
    customer, and then uses those funds to go to court, to ensure it can
    restrict the choices of that same customer for the life of the printer.’
    Epson had not returned our requests for comment by the time of publishing.

    Epson settles inkjet cartridge suit

    has agreed a settlement with UK internet retailer Recharge Inkjet
    Technologies (CartridgeMonkey.com) over the sale of ink cartridges for
    Epson printers.Recharge has agreed not to infringe Epson’s patents and
    registered designs in future, and to pay a substantial settlement to
    Epson. The full terms of the settlement are confidential.Mr Scott,
    director of Recharge said: “Following discussions with Epson, we have
    discontinued our range of ink cartridges compatible with Epson branded
    printers because of concerns that they may infringe Epson’s
    intellectual property rights. CartridgeMonkey.com will continue to
    stock the full range of Epson original inks and Epson multi-packs, so
    our customers continue to benefit from the many significant long-term
    benefits when using ink cartridges manufactured by Epson.”Nick Butler,
    managing director, Epson UK said: “Genuine Epson ink is the highest
    quality ink you can use for your Epson printer. Our investment into
    research and development has ensured that we are providing premium
    quality output for our customers and that both our ink and our printers
    work in harmony together.  We welcome CartridgeMonkey.com’s decision to
    remove the cartridges complained of and its recognition of the
    importance of respecting Epson’s intellectual property rights.”