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 user 2009-05-15 at 3:16:33 pm Views: 49
  • #22233
    Judge Recommends $20.5 Million Penalty Against Ninestar
    ITC Judge Recommends US$ 20.5 Million Penalty Against Ninestar, Which
    Sells Ink Cartridges under the “G&G” and “OA-100″ Brands, for
    Violations of Orders to Cease and Desist from Continued Infringement of
    Epson Patents

    Japan, May  2009 –The Honorable Paul J. Luckern issued an Enforcement
    Initial Determination on April 17 that finds Ninestar, which sells ink
    cartridges under the “G&G” and “OA-100″ brands, repeatedly imported
    into the United States and sold after importation cartridges that
    infringe certain patents owned by Epson in violation of the General
    Exclusion Order and certain Limited Exclusion Orders and Cease and
    Desist Orders issued on October 19, 2007 by the U.S. International
    Trade Commission (“ITC”).

    The decision recommended that the ITC
    impose a penalty of US$ 20,504,974.16 jointly and severally against
    Ninestar Technology Co. Ltd. of Zhuhai, China and its two affiliated US
    companies, Ninestar US and Town Sky. The judge also found four other
    companies violated the ITC’s Orders and recommended penalties in the
    amount of US$ 9,700,000 against Mipo International Ltd. and Mipo
    America Ltd., as well as US$ 700,000 against Ribbon Tree USA Inc. doing
    business as Cana-Pacific Ribbons Inc. and Apex Distributing Inc. The
    penalty against Ninestar is the largest penalty that has ever been
    recommended by an ITC judge. Penalties have been assessed only
    infrequently in the reported history of the ITC. They are collected by
    and for the United States government.

    Judge Luckern’s ruling
    arises from enforcement proceedings that were instituted in 2008 by the
    ITC to determine whether the seven Chinese and U.S. companies continued
    to import into the United States and sell after importation infringing
    ink cartridges in violation of the ITC’s General Exclusion Order,
    Limited Exclusion Orders and Cease and Desist Orders that were entered
    on October 19, 2007. These Orders were entered after the ITC completed
    an investigation in 2006-2007 and determined that patents belonging to
    Epson were valid, enforceable, and infringed by over one thousand
    accused products.

    Judge Luckern conducted an enforcement trial
    in January 2009 that was defended by the Ninestar companies. The other
    four respondents defaulted. Based on the extensive evidence presented
    at the enforcement trial, the judge found that all of the enforcement
    respondents imported into the United States and/or sold after
    importation infringing cartridges repeatedly in violation of the ITC’s
    General Exclusion Order, Limited Exclusion Orders and Cease and Desist
    Orders. The judge also rejected all of Ninestar’s defenses.