USITC Issues More Seizure and Forfeiture Orders for Brother
On April 15, 2021, seizure and forfeiture orders were filed against Brillware Inc., Maxwell Image Limited, and Topjet Technology Co., Ltd. The three companies have allegedly been caught importing third-party toner cartridges that infringe patents held by Brother.
Brother was awarded a General Exclusion Order (GEO) for certain printer cartridges in November 2020. This followed Brother being successful in requesting a 337 investigation on March 15. The resulting GEO is the first to be granted by the US International Trade Commission (US-ITC) to Brother.
These are the second round of seizure and forfeiture orders to be made on behalf of the same Brother GEO.
The first seizure and forfeiture orders were filed against five companies at the beginning of April 2020 for allegedly violating that GEO with infringing products shipped to, marketed and sold in the USA. The five defendants in the first round included Amazon.com Services, Inc., Enlight Trading Inc., Princo Image Co. (USA) Inc., and two Zhuhai companies Exprinco Inc., and Thumbs Up Innovation Technology Co., Ltd.
Seizure and forfeiture orders are only issued by the US-ITC after being alerted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorities. The CBP denies entry of the infringing products and notifies the parties involved.
Brother’s GEO covers five patents: U.S. patent numbers 9,785,093 (‘093), 9,575,460 (‘460), 9,568,856 (‘856) 9,632,456 (‘456), and 9,846,387 (‘387). These patents are used in certain Brother laser printer cartridges including models TN-221, TN-223, TN-225, TN-227, TN-420, TN-450, TN-630, TN-660, TN-730, TN-760, and TN-770.
The OEMs have been busy in 2021 with Canon filing suits against 26 defendants, many being Chinese, on March 8, 2021. Canon filed a lawsuit concurrently with the US-ITC.
- Brother Seeks US-ITC Investigation No 337-1174
- 337-1174 investigation instituted
- September 17, 2019: Brother 337 Investigation Reaches End Game
- GEO Granted:
- November 23, 2020: ITC Issues GEO for Brother
- Seizure and Forfeiture Orders
- April 2, 2021: USITC Issues 5 Seizure and Forfeiture Orders for Brother
- April 15, 2021: USITC Issues More Seizure and Forfeiture Orders for Brother
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