Aftermarket Strikes Back Again with “Permissible Repair”

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“Customs”) has once again sided with an Aftermarket company and granted its challenge to the exclusion order issued last year.

Green Project, the international imaging supplier company, protested the Customs’ seizure of its toner cartridges after receiving four exclusion orders last November and December. The company has finally got its shipments back which are safe to import without any issues.

According to Green Project, Charles R. Steuart, Chief of the Customs’ Intellectual Property Branch, has written to the company that he agreed Green Project cartridges in question had been “permissibly repaired” after reviewing their case. Steuart reasoned that the products were “originally purchased within the United States” and were legitimately remanufactured. Therefore, the cartridges involved in the seizures were outside of the ITC exclusion orders.

The seizure orders the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) has issued to Green Project were for violating Epson’s 337-TA-946 and 337-TA-565 investigation, and HP’s 337-TA-691 investigation. The orders limit the importation of certain third-party inkjet cartridges presumed to violate Epson and HP patents.

To prove its remanufactured cartridges did not infringe, Green Project presented the Customs with identity of the retailer that first sold the OEM cartridges in the United States. The international cartridge recycling company also showed authorities how the cartridges were gathered, shipped to China and remanufactured, and then returned to be marketed in the United States.

This is the second time the Customs has reversed the seizure orders on Green Project this year. In February, RT Media reported on the first case when the court has reversed its order.


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