*NEWS*WHO's SCARED OF THE BIG-BAD EPSON CORP ?

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*NEWS*WHO's SCARED OF THE BIG-BAD EPSON CORP ?

 user 2008-05-20 at 10:59:56 am Views: 60
  • #19967
    http://www.rechargermag.com/articles/62440/
    Epson, U.S. Customs Busy Enforcing Patents
    May
    , 2008 Epson America Inc. announced that vigorous enforcement of its
    ink cartridge patents continues on many fronts following the Final
    Determination and Exclusion Orders by the U.S. International Trade
    Commission (“ITC”). The decision made in October 2007 bars imports of
    infringing ink cartridges for Epson printers.“Epson strongly recommends
    that all importers and distributors of cartridges for Epson printers
    take appropriate precautions to avoid infringement and potential
    seizures and liability,” said Alf Andersen, assistant general counsel,
    Epson America Inc.

        The U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    Service (U.S. Customs), which is responsible for enforcing the ITC
    General Exclusion Order, has been inspecting incoming cartridge
    shipments and seizing infringing cartridges.The U.S. Customs and Border
    Protection Service (U.S. Customs), which is responsible for enforcing
    the ITC General Exclusion Order, has been inspecting incoming cartridge
    shipments and seizing infringing cartridges. Recently, the ITC issued a
    Seizure and Forfeiture Order against Mipo America Inc. of Miami, Fla.,
    after a U.S. Customs seizure. Last month, U.S. Customs issued a
    Certification that requires all importers of new and refilled ink
    cartridges to certify, under penalty of perjury, that importation of
    the cartridges does not violate the Orders.

    Earlier this year,
    Epson filed three enforcement complaints with the ITC against three
    large foreign suppliers of ink cartridges and their U.S. subsidiaries
    alleging continuing imports and sales of new and refilled infringing
    cartridges in violation of the ITC orders. The three foreign suppliers
    are Ninestar Technology Co. Ltd. of Zhuhai, China (supplier of G &G
    and OA100 brand cartridges); Mipo International Ltd. of Hong Kong
    (supplier of Mipo brand cartridges); and Cana-Pacific Ribbons Inc. of
    Vancouver, Canada (supplier of Butterfly brand and generic cartridges).
    The ITC has the authority to issue penalties up to the greater of
    $100,000 for each day of importation and sales of infringing products
    or twice the commercial value of the infringing products. On May 1,
    2008, The ITC instituted formal enforcement procedings against the
    Ninestar and Mipo companies. The ITC has not yet acted on Epson’s
    complaint against the Cana-Pacific companies.

    In April 2008,
    Epson filed an additional patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S.
    District Court in Portland, Ore. against four prominent internet
    resellers of ink cartridges seeking permanent injunctions and
    compensation. The complaint alleges that the four companies continued
    to sell new or refilled ink cartridges that infringe 18 patents that
    collectively cover innovations in numerous on-carriage cartridges used
    in most Epson desktop inkjet printers, and off-carriage cartridges used
    in Epson large format inkjet printers. The defendants in the new
    lawsuit are Inkjetmadness.com, Inc., dba Inkgrabber.com of Simi Valley,
    Calif.; Acecom Inc-San Antonio, dba Inksell.com of San Antonio, Texas;
    Comptree Inc., dba Meritline.com of City of Industry, Calif.; and Media
    Street Inc., dba Mediastreet.com of Deer Park, N.Y.

     many other
    foreign manufacturers and exporters of ink cartridges for Epson
    printers have closed their U.S. operations, apparently to avoid
    liability.Epson recently took possession of 58,000 infringing inkjet
    cartridges from the bankruptcy trustee for MMC America Inc., which was
    the U.S. affiliate of Zhuhai Gree Magneto-Electric Co. Ltd., a Chinese
    conglomerate that manufactures MMC brand cartridges. The bankruptcy
    trustee surrendered the cartridges for destruction because the ITC
    Orders prevented their resale. In addition to the MMC America
    bankruptcy, many other foreign manufacturers and exporters of ink
    cartridges for Epson printers have closed their U.S. operations,
    apparently to avoid liability.“Since U.S.-based resellers can be
    independently liable for substantial damages for patent infringement,
    Epson urges resellers to be very careful regarding claims of
    non-infringement and offers of patent indemnification from suppliers
    that have only a minimal presence in the U.S.,” said Andersen.

    Epson
    maintains a Web site at http://www.itc.epson.com/ to provide U.S.
    importers and distributors with timely information about the ITC action
    and related U.S. District Court lawsuits. The U.S. Customs
    Certification, ITC Exclusion Orders, ITC Seizure and Forfeiture Order,
    ITC Enforcement Complaints and U.S. District Court complaints
    referenced in this press release are all posted on the Web site with
    other useful information, including a summary of the legal requirements
    for refilled cartridges.Epson Portland Inc., Epson America Inc, and
    Seiko Epson Corporation jointly filed the ITC action and numerous U.S.
    District Court lawsuits as part of Epson’s extensive worldwide effort
    to protect its intellectual property rights and investments in R&D
    to produce high quality, innovative printers and ink cartridges. Epson
    will continue to take whatever action is necessary to protect itself
    from ongoing infringements and unfair competition at every level of
    product manufacture, distribution and sale.