REFILL INK LAWSUITS LOOMS LARGE IN KOREA

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REFILL INK LAWSUITS LOOMS LARGE IN KOREA

 user 2006-11-14 at 12:04:00 pm Views: 46
  • #17338

    Refill Ink Lawsuits Loom Large in Korea
    November
    , 2006 The world printer industry now sees a series of lawsuits over
    ink patents, as printer makers aggressively defend their intellectual
    properties against refill ink companies. And such moves are expected to
    deal a blow to Korean refill kit makers which account for a significant
    chunk of the world market.According to Bloomberg, the world’s largest
    printer maker HP has filed a complaint in Germany against a subsidiary
    of InkTec, a Korea-based manufacturer of inks and home refill kits, for
    allegedly violating its ink patent.This is the first time that HP filed
    a lawsuit against a Korean ink cartridge maker, and the company is
    seeking some 1.2 billion won in damage, according to InkTec.HP has been
    vigorously defending its intellectual properties in the area after CEO
    Mark Herd took helm, suing U.S. office supply retailer OfficeMax in
    June and Chinese cartridge maker G&G Nine Star in August this year
    for patent infringement.Multinational printer makers have filed a
    series of patent lawsuits targeting fast-growing Korean refill ink
    makers.Earlier, the main office of Cannon sued Samsung Electronics and
    Packen OPC for violating its patent laser photoconductive drum, and the
    court ruled in favor of the multinational firm in last month. The
    ruling hit the two refill ink makers in the both home and overseas
    markets. Epson also filed a case against a domestic refill ink maker,
    fueling such moves.A series of lawsuits filed by multinational printer
    vendors like HP and Cannon are testament to how vigorously they guard
    the lucrative ink cartridge market where they face a growing threat
    from Korean refill kit makers in terms of technological prowess and
    brand power.Printer makers are expected to continue filing cases
    against ink, toner and drum companies, as the printer industry moves
    from hardware sales to so-called after market including dispensable
    products.According to market research firm Stanford C Bernstein, sales
    in ink and toner business accounted for 80% of 5.6 billion dollar-worth
    operating profit HP posted in last year.The rub is that multinational
    printer makers now target domestic refill ink and kit makers. The
    domestic printer market has been dominated by multinational vendors,
    expect Samsung Electronics, and the refill ink business has managed to
    help domestic firms sell products at home and abroad.”Ink patents are
    like a tinderbox in the printer market,” said an industry observer.
    “Domestic firms need to develop countermeasures against complaints
    filed by multinational printer makers.”