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Canon seeks millions in clone damages

July 10, 2012

Sources to The Recycler reveal that the OEM is seeking over €2,000,000 plus costs and damages against an undisclosed German importer.

UPDATE: The Recycler understands from a source close to the story that a further 23 companies mainly in Southern Europe have been added to the list of European companies that Canon believes the new toner cartridges sold by the companies concerned infringe their intellectual property, bringing the total number of companies involved to approximately fifty.

The companies involved are selling a mixture of new, non-OEM and remanufactured cartridges and range in size from one company selling a few hundred cartridges a month to a very large channel partner selling several thousand cartridges a month.

In papers seen by The Recycler, leading OEM cartridge manufacturer Canon is claiming millions of euros in damages against an undisclosed German importer of new cartridges. The papers claim that cartridges imported by the company breach the OEM’s intellectual property patent EP 0 735 432 B1.

Canon is claiming legal fees based on general damages in excess of €2,000,000 ($2,459,340), plus costs and plus specific damages for cartridges sold in excess of €1,000 ($1,229) per cartridge sold and that the claim is for sales backdated to 2001.

A source with knowledge of the action told The Recycler that the OEM has taken action against several European-based importers, distributors and resellers of new toner cartridges (clones) imported into the European Union that breach Canon’s European patent EP 0 735 432 B1.

ETIRA Secretary General Vincent van Dijk commented to The Recycler: “ETIRA welcomes any enforcement action by the OEMs against patent-infringing newbuilt cartridges. Remanufacturers should either reuse the Canon material, or use patent-free alternatives. Trading ilegal parts is a dangerous business, and will cost you dearly.”

Canon and its legal team has yet to provide a comment at the time of publication.

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