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 user 2008-01-17 at 11:44:00 am Views: 42
  • #19193

    U.S. president declines to modify ITC general exclusion order that bars all imports of infringing ink cartridges
    Epson Clarifies Legal Requirements for Imports and Sales of Refilled Cartridges
    BEACH, United States,Wednesday, January , 2008 President George W. Bush
    and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative allowed the 60-day
    Presidential Review Period to expire without modifying the General
    Exclusion Order by the U.S. International Trade Commission that bars
    all imports of infringing cartridges. As a result, the Order is being
    actively enforced by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service.The
    General Exclusion Order resulted from a complaint filed by Epson
    Portland Inc., Epson America Inc., and the Seiko Epson Corp. against 24
    of the largest aftermarket ink cartridge manufacturers and
    distributors. Following the Commission’s review of the trial results in
    which the ITC judge found that all 750 accused cartridges infringed one
    or more of Epson’s 11 patents, the ITC issued a General Exclusion Order
    that prohibits all imports of infringing cartridges and Cease and
    Desist Orders that prohibit the Respondent companies and their
    distributors from all sales of infringing cartridges. Epson has set up
    a Web site at http://itc.epson.com/ with further information to help
    ensure importers, distributors and retailers are not caught unaware
    regarding the consequences of violating the orders and continued
    infringement.The General Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Orders do
    not bar imports or resale of non-infringing cartridges, like
    non-infringing refilled cartridges. Resellers should be cautious,
    however, to avoid liability by noting the following legal parameters:

    1. Refilling an infringing cartridge, like an infringing aftermarket cartridge, still results in another infringing cartridge.

    Refilled cartridges that were Epson branded cartridges must have been
    first sold by Epson to consumers in the United States. A “first sale”
    exception to patent law allows the resale of refilled patented devices
    that were first sold in the United States by the patent holder.
    Cartridges that were first sold by Epson to consumers outside the
    United States and refilled by a third party still infringe Epson’s
    patents. Epson officials have observed that some suppliers commingle
    cartridges first sold by Epson in the United States with cartridges
    first sold to consumers outside the United States in identical
    packaging, so resellers cannot reliably avoid liability for patent

    3. The refilling process must be limited to
    legally permissible repair to restore the cartridge to usable
    condition, but the cartridges cannot be completely reconstructed.
    Legally permissible repair includes refilling the ink, resetting the IC
    chip, removing or covering Epson labels, and repackaging.

    Refilled cartridges must be prominently described at point of sale and
    on packaging as “refilled” or “remanufactured” Any Epson trademarks
    must be removed so consumers cannot be misled into believing that the
    cartridges were refilled or approved by Epson.

    “Epson is pleased
    that U.S. Customs is now effectively enforcing the ITC Orders to
    prevent unfair competition” said Elizabeth Leung, director of Consumer
    Supplies, Epson America Inc. “Distributors and retailers in every
    market channel can expect Epson to continue vigorous enforcement
    against any infringers who try to undermine the commendable efforts of
    all the resellers who compete fairly”

    About Epson Portland Inc.
    Portland Inc. Is the U.S.-based manufacturing subsidiary of Japan-
    Epson Corporation. Historically a printer manufacturer (from its
    opening day in July of 1986 until August of 2001 Epson Portland built
    over 15 million printers), the company currently manufactures ink
    cartridges for ink jet printers, refurbishes optical engines for LCD
    projectors and performs precision injection molding of proprietary
    plastic parts. Epson Portland manufactures over 35 million cartridges
    annually for sale in the United States and elsewhere.

    About Epson America Inc.
    America is the U.S.-based marketing and service subsidiary of Seiko
    Epson Corp. Epson America offers an extensive array of award-winning
    image capture and image output products for the consumer, business,
    photography and graphic arts market throughout North, Central and South
    America. The company is also a leading supplier of value-added
    point-of-sale (POS) printers and transaction terminals for the retail
    market. Epson America Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif