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 user 2007-10-25 at 10:57:00 am Views: 60
  • #19051

    U.S. International Trade Commission Issues a Final Determination Finding All Accused Cartridges Infringe Epson’s Patents
    LONG BEACH, United States, October, 2007 – On October, 2007 , the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issued a Final Determination upholding, with slight modifications, the Initial Determination issued by the ITC Administrative Law Judge on March 30, 2007 that found all 11 patents belonging to Seiko Epson Corporation (“Epson”) to be valid and all ink cartridges at issue to infringe one or more of the patents. The modifications to the Initial Determination do not significantly change the outcome, and under the Final Determination, all of Epson’s 11 patents were found valid and all accused cartridges still infringe one or more of the patents.

    The ITC also issued a General Exclusion Order that prohibits all importation of infringing cartridges into the U.S., and also issued a Limited Exclusion Order that prohibits all importation of infringing cartridges by defaulting respondents. In addition, the ITC also issued Cease and Desist Orders that prohibit the sale and distribution of infringing cartridges in the U.S. by certain domestic respondents.The General Exclusion Order prohibits the importation of all infringing ink cartridges not only by the companies who were respondents in the ITC investigation, but also by any importers of infringing ink cartridges.

    The Final Determination is subject to Presidential Review for 60 days, to consider whether there are any policy reasons to disapprove the Final Determination. During the Presidential Review period, importers may continue to import infringing cartridges into the United States only if they post a bond of $13.60 per cartridge. However, if during the Presidential Review Period, the President does not disapprove the Final Determination, then all importers must cease importing infringing products entirely.

    The Final Determination arises from a complaint that Epson and its U.S. subsidiaries filed on February 17, 2006 that accused 24 U.S., Korean, German, and Chinese companies of importing and selling infringing ink cartridges in the U.S. Epson and its U.S. subsidiaries also filed parallel actions in the U.S. District Court for Oregon for damages and injunctive relief. Prior to the ITC trial, Epson reached resolution with 18 respondents, including settlements where the respondents agreed to cease sales of infringing products.

    “Trust-based management” is at the core of Epson’s corporate management, and we run our company with care not to violate any laws or corporate ethics, and with full respect for the rights of others. At the same time, we expect others to show the appropriate respect for our rights as well. From the standpoint of protecting intellectual property rights, we will use legal measures to address those who use Epson’s patented technology, trademarks, and other intellectual property without permission.