Canon vs Ninestar Smokescreen Hides the Real Story

Canon vs Ninestar Smokescreen Hides the Real Story

Canon vs Ninestar Smokescreen Hides the Real Story

Canon vs Ninestar Smokescreen Hides the Real StoryAs reported, Canon announced a new lawsuit against Ninestar and its Hong Kong and New Jersey, U.S., based affiliates.  It did so, on September 17, with announcements from its newsroom and the usual fanfare.  The case affects very few cartridge models that are for printers with a very small installed base. (These cartridges are not a huge seller in the U.S.)

However, that same day was also the deadline for Canon to appeal its April loss to the aftermarket in a more important case to the U.S. Supreme Court.  It declined to do so. That case involved 26 aftermarket defendants, including Ninestar, Static Control, Aster, Print-Rite and LD Products, to name just a few. The litigation also affected a wide range of cartridges. Canon filed that case in both U.S. District Courts and the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).

The defendants, in that case, fought back, claiming that Canon was overreaching and attempting to invoke patent claim coverage inappropriately.  In April, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court ruled unanimously against Canon, which was appealing the earlier 2018 decision of the USITC, which ruled that certain aftermarket design-around solutions did not infringe Canon’s patents.

Since the September 17 announcement of this new case, it filed voluntarily dismissals in the various district courts where the earlier cases are pending.  It also is not pursuing its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Canon’s New Filing – What’s Missing?

In its September 17, 2020 complaint, Canon claims Ninestar sells toner cartridges that infringe Canon’s patents for use in various models of Canon and HP laser beam printers. These include printers which accept Canon toner cartridge models 729 and HP toner cartridge models 126A and 130A. Canon asserts Ninestar sells the infringing toner cartridges online, including through Ninestar websites such as,, and/or Canon is seeking damages and injunctive relief.

It did not file this case simultaneously with the USITC, as has been its pattern in the past.  At least not as of today’s close of business.

Perhaps the new case was merely a smokescreen to keep the press away from the more interesting events of the day.  However, industry legal experts and analysts didn’t miss it. For more, see



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