HP Loses to the Aftermarket in European Court—Again

court,HP,123inkt.nl,patent,infringementAn online seller of printing consumables has been judged as non-infringing of an OEM’s patent in Holland.

According to 123inkt.nl, the Court of Appeals at The Hague in the Netherlands has judged that HP’s European chip patent is invalid.

On May 24, 2017 the court gave its judgment in appeal proceedings between HP and 123inkt.nl. The appeal came from an earlier decision of the district court on 25 November 2015, in which the district court also ruled in favor of 123inkt.nl.

HP viewed chips on private label, or aftermarket ink cartridges of 123inkt.nl infringed their European patent. Consequently, HP requested a ban on the sale of a large number of the aftermarket cartridges, and sought reimbursement of its damages from 123inkt.nl.

The opinion of 123inkt.nl is that the HP patent does not contain a new invention and has therefore been wrongfully granted. The court agreed. “The patent is an expensive trick to block sellers of private label cartridges and is abused by HP to create a monopoly,” 123inkt.nl’s director Gerben Kreuning told RT Media.

The Hague denied all claims of HP. No ban on sales, no payment of profits or reimbursement of damages was given to HP. HP was ordered to pay €124,053 (US$138,946) for litigation costs to123inkt.nl. Further, 123inkt.nl is free to continue selling its private label, aftermarket cartridges for use in HP printers.

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