Epson Hunts Cartridge Pirates

Epson is employing private investigators in Australia, to trace sales of imported non-genuine cartridges to see if they violate any of Epson’s patents or are possibly counterfeit cartridges.

Mike Pleasants, Director of Marketing Communications for Epson Australia, said Epson will not sit back and watch while “these pirates steal its intellectual property for their personal gain”. According to Pleasants, Epson does not, and never has, license third party companies to make and sell ink or cartridges for Epson printers. He said, “In Australia, Epson will not hesitate to take legal action against any reseller if they are found to have sold counterfeit Epson inkjet cartridges to customers. Similarly, we are referring non-genuine cartridges for investigation for possible patent infringement similar to US actions”. Pleasants noted that Epson is investing considerably in protecting its intellectual property.

Internationally, Epson has reached settlement agreements in a patent infringement action pending with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and similar lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court in Oregon, with five suppliers of aftermarket printer supplies and related companies.

Three of the settling defendants are manufacturers of aftermarket printer supplies: Artech GMBH of Germany, Ink Lab Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong, and InkTec Co. Ltd. of Korea. The other two are U.S. distributors of aftermarket printer supplies: Inc. of Connecticut and Rhinotek Computer Products Inc. of California.

According to TonerNews, all defendants have admitted infringing at least 10 of Epson’s patents and agreed to cease importing a wide range of infringing cartridges for Epson desktop inkjet printers.



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