Canon Reaches Agreement with Patent Troll, MPHJ

Canon U.S.A. announced that it has reached an agreement with the patent troll, MPHJ Technology Investments, to protect its customers from MPHJ’s patent infringement allegations.

Under the agreement, customers who have purchased Canon equipment directly from Canon or from its distributors and resellers are protected from allegations of infringement. Those who have received demand letters from MPHJ, or shell companies, and have questions should contact their Canon authorized dealer or call 1.877.358.3855. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“At Canon, our top priority is supporting our customers,” noted Seymour Liebman, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Canon U.S.A. “This is an unusual situation as it targets our customers, not Canon. Because providing superior customer service and support is paramount for us, we determined that entering into this agreement was the best way to support our valued customers.”

MPHJ claims that use of MFPs to send files to e-mail or network software

infringes their U.S. patent 7,986,426 and is demanding a license fee for such use. The persistence of this firm has led industry analysts to label it a troll patent licensing group. MPHJ doesn’t target manufacturers, but the smaller, weaker, end users, especially the SMBs. Earlier, Ricoh, Xerox and HP asked the USPTO to review the claimed patents.

In the meantime, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair, Ms. Edith Ramirez, plans to subpoena patent trolls—companies that buy large portfolios of technology patents and use them to sue others—as part of an inquiry into their methods.

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