Brother Files P-Touch Label Tape Cartridge Lawsuits

Brother Industries recently filed a pair of patent-infringement lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The suits accuse several third-party supplies companies of violating Brother’s patents on label tape cartridges for P-Touch label printers.

On February 26, 2013, Aster Graphics, LD Products, and the Supplies Guys were summoned into Court. Brother accused the three firms of selling the same infringing, compatible ribbon cassettes for use in Brother P-Touch printers. The suits are based upon a design patent and utility patents. A spokesperson for Aster Graphics said that they respect the intellectual property rights of others, but they do not believe Brother’s patent claims are valid. They will investigate the claims in defense of their lawful rights and to protect the goodwill of their customers.

On March 1, Brother also filed a suit against Sophia Global, My Supply Buy, and Nextag for selling the same products online.

In these two suits, Brother is asking the court to charge these companies with direct infringement and order them to pay damages. They also ask for long-term restraint by the defendants against further infringement.

Brother holds intellectual property rights to its P-Touch labeling systems and filed the lawsuits to show that they are protecting their patent positions. The lawsuit also indicates that Brother is bent on taking some third-party supplies companies out of the ribbon cassette market. This is a first step in clawing back lost market share, by starting with the ribbon cassette market.

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