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 user 2007-11-16 at 12:07:00 pm Views: 46
  • #21155

    Epson hits another ink cartridge maker
    The UK’s Environmental Business Products will stop selling Epson-compatible ink cartridges after being sued by Epson.
    the second time in a week a manufacturer of Epson-compatible ink
    cartridges is taking its products off the market as a result of legal
    action by Seiko Epson, the Japanese company said Friday.

    Business Products has stopped importing and supplying Epson-compatible
    printer cartridges as a result of an out of court settlement between
    the two companies, Epson said in a statement. Epson had brought
    proceedings against the London company in the U.K. High Court for
    infringement of a number of patents and registered designs owned by
    Epson, the statement said.The company and others like it offer ink
    cartridges or refills that can be used in Epson printers and are
    typically cheaper than those from Epson. For printer makers the sale of
    replacement ink is a major source of profit.The action couldn’t
    immediately be confirmed with the U.K. company, which has operations in
    the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain. The Epson
    statement included a quote from Environmental Business Products’
    managing director, saying sales of Epson-compatible cartridges were
    stopped because the company isn’t confident its products would be found
    not to infringe on Epson’s patents.In addition to the halt in sales,
    Environmental Business Products will also have to pay legal costs and
    “a substantial payment” for damages, Epson said. The amounts involved
    were not disclosed.

    Earlier last week Epson reached a settlement
    with Hong Kong-based Multi-Union Trading Co. Ltd. as part of a patent
    infringement lawsuit brought in the U.S. District Court for the
    District of Oregon in Portland. That will see 75 of Multi-Union’s
    cartridge models barred from being imported and sold in the U.S., Epson
    said. The cartridges are sold under the PrintRite brand and other
    names.Epson is also pursuing a number of other companies, said Alastair
    Bourne, a spokesman for the Suwa-based company. They include Armor, a
    third-party cartridge maker in Nantes, France, which is being sued in
    the same Portland court as Multi-Union. The spokesman wouldn’t name any
    other companies.The recent string of court actions and resolutions
    doesn’t point to a crackdown but comes as a result of Epson deciding to
    publicize the legal actions it takes, Bourne said.”It’s important to
    send a message out that we are serious about defending our intellectual
    property and also protecting fair competition,” he said. “We believe in
    respecting other people’s intellectual property and we expect other
    people to respect ours and so we’d like to send that message.”