Compatible Ink Cartridges Removed From Ebay Listings

Originally written and reported at Open Rights Group

Epson delete competing Ebay ink listings citing patent claims

Epson has contacted a number of resellers on eBay warning them to remove their listings. They have followed up by directly removing the items from eBay,  as members of the “VeRO” programme.

Epson enjoys a special trusted status on eBay under their VeRO programme. VeRO allows rightsholders to remove listings that they “believe may infringe on their intellectual property rights”. eBay doesn’t appear to require an actual proof of infringement, for example, a decision of the court, but accept Epson’s word as a trusted company.

The policy for patent takedowns only applies in the EU. This means that Epson compatible cartridges in the US are not affected.

Epson is alleging that certain compatible ink cartridges infringe their patents GB2433473 and amendment GB2465293. The alleged infringement concerns the alignment of chip contacts on their cartridges. So far, we know Epson has issued takedowns against compatible cartridges T16 XL; T18 XL; T24 XL; T26 XL; T27 XL; T29 XL; T33 XL plus T0715 XL; T0797 XL; T0807 XL.

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