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 user 2009-08-07 at 3:10:51 pm Views: 80
  • #22796
    Green Project Inc., Maker of Recycled Ink and Toner Cartridges, Files Counter-Suit Against Corporate Giant Epson
    Entrepreneurial Company Seeks Damages for Trade Secret Misappropriation and Trespass
    ANGELES, CA— A counter-suit against Epson America Inc. and Seiko
    Epson Corp., one of the world’s largest inkjet manufacturers, was filed
    Monday, July 27, 2009, by Green Project Inc. (,
    a Los Angeles-based, environmentally dedicated entrepreneurial company
    that recycles ink and toner cartridges.The suit, filed in U.S. District
    Court, District of Oregon, alleges unfair competition, seeks a
    declaratory judgment for non-infringement of Epson’s patents, accuses
    the Japanese-headquartered conglomerate of trade secret
    misappropriation and trespass, and denies Epson’s allegation of patent

    Green Project, which operates from Hacienda
    Heights in Los Angeles County, was added on June 18 to a lawsuit filed
    by Epson earlier this year. Epson’s suit is against a group of
    suppliers that make “compatible” after-market inkjet cartridges that
    work with Epson printers, and who also recycle Epson’s cartridges.
    (Green Project does not make compatibles; it only recycles original
    inkjet cartridges.)

    Joseph Wu, president of Green Project,
    explained, “We are puzzled by Epson’s corporate policy of punishing
    recyclers of used inkjet cartridges, companies that provide critically
    needed environmental benefits for everyone. Used cartridges are
    extremely damaging to the environment, both the plastic framework that
    does not degrade in landfills and the toxic ink left inside the
    cartridges that seeps into the soil.”Our company and companies like
    ours are working hard to offset the incredible damage being done by
    discarded cartridges. Studies show that as many as 350 million
    cartridges wind up in landfills throughout North America each year. We
    are unaware of any other inkjet manufacturer that continues to take
    such a harsh environmental stance, as does Epson,” added Wu.The
    counter-suit against Epson is being pursued by Green Project not only
    to gain relief from the patent infringement case against the
    defendants, but also to seek damages against Epson and one of its
    employees, Herbert W. Seitz, who is accused of surreptitiously gaining
    access to Green Project’s premises and to the company’s competitive
    business information by pretending to be a potential customer.

    said the actions by Seitz, acting on behalf of his employer Epson, are
    both illegal and morally reprehensible. “Basically, Epson was spying on
    us, including gaining sensitive pricing information, through false
    pretenses. He used a false name and a fabricated company to gain
    access.”Thomas Chan, managing partner of Chan Law Group, counsel to
    Green Project, said, “This is a clear-cut case of a major international
    corporation bullying a start-up company using legal tactics without
    merit and, even worse, using false identity to gain trade secret
    information on its competitors.”Explaining why Green Project is seeking
    declaratory judgment for non-infringement of Epson’s patents, Chan
    said, “The law is clear: once the inkjet cartridge is sold to the
    public by the patent owner, under the well established ‘First Sale
    Doctrine,’ the patent owner’s rights end. Our client takes the
    discarded cartridge, cleans it and refills it for a subsequent user. In
    so doing, Green Project preserves the environment, helps the economy by
    operating a small business and gives consumers an alternate product at
    a reduced cost.”

    Green Project Inc.
    Based in Hacienda
    Heights, Calif., Green Project Inc. is a fast-growing start-up that
    specializes in remanufacturing ink and toner cartridges. The company
    provides products for all of the major manufacturers of inkjet
    printers, including inkjet cartridges and laser toners. The company has
    a strong environmental orientation and has chosen to focus on providing
    recycled products, thus saving the earth from further environmental
    harm caused by discarded inkjet cartridges and used ink. More
    information is available at

    Chan Law Group LLP
    by Thomas T. Chan, Chan Law Group is a Los Angeles-based, boutique
    intellectual property law and business law firm. Chan previously served
    as trade advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative and to the U.S.
    Secretary of Commerce. He was instrumental in the formation of the
    Business Software Alliance based in Washington D.C. and was responsible
    for filing the first antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in 1993. More
    information is available at