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 user 2005-05-02 at 12:19:00 pm Views: 47
  • #9224
    Epson Takes Action Against Two
    Off-Brand Ink Cartridge Manufacturers to Protect Intellectual

    BEACH, Calif.-April, 2005–

    Company Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit
    Against Armor Group and Expands Scope of Existing Patent Infringement Lawsuit
    Against Multi-Union Trading Co. Ltd.

    Epson has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in
    Portland, Ore., against the Armor Group, manufacturers and distributors of
    aftermarket ink cartridges, including its French-based head office Armor S.A,
    German manufacturing subsidiary Artech GmbH, and its U.S. sales subsidiary Armor
    USA Inc. The lawsuit by Epson Portland Inc., Epson America Inc. and Seiko Epson
    Corp. alleges that at least 30 models of replacement ink jet cartridges for
    Epson Stylus printers manufactured by Artech GmbH infringe Epson’s patents. A
    total of 12 patents are asserted, with each cartridge alleged to infringe
    several of these patents. The Armor cartridges are widely distributed at retail
    locations throughout the United States.

    In a separate development, Epson filed a second patent infringement lawsuit
    to add at least 49 more cartridge models to its patent infringement lawsuit
    brought in April 2001 against Multi-Union Trading Company Ltd., a
    Hong-Kong-based company that is one of the world’s largest suppliers of
    aftermarket ink cartridges. The Multi-Union cartridges are often sold in the
    United States under the PrintRite brand and in generic packaging. In March 2005,
    a federal judge issued a summary judgment ruling that decisively holds that the
    defendant’s 23 cartridges referenced in the initial lawsuit infringe Epson’s
    patents. The second complaint alleges the same or substantially similar
    infringements by the additional 49 cartridge models.

    Epson has made huge investments in R&D and manufacturing in the United
    States and elsewhere to produce high quality, innovative cartridges. Both
    lawsuits are part of Epson’s worldwide efforts to protect the company and its
    customers from unfair competition of all types, including the sale of
    patent-infringing ink cartridges.

    “Epson recognizes and respects competitors’ rights to sell aftermarket ink
    cartridges as long as they compete fairly,” said Elizabeth Leung, director,
    Consumer Supplies and Strategy, Epson. “In these cases, however, we had to take
    these actions to enforce the company’s intellectual property rights and protect
    our innovative products from unfair competition through the continued sales of
    cartridges that are infringing copies of Epson’s patented ink cartridges.”