Canon files IP suit in Russia

August 21, 2014

The OEM has filed a suit for enforcement of its patent rights against Russian distributor X-Com Shop Ltd.x-com logo

The announcement stated that the suit was filed at the Moscow City Economic Court against X-Com Shop Ltd., with the OEM seeking enforcement of its Russian Federation patent 2467370, which relates to toner cartridges, and Canon notes that the purpose of the claim is to “stop infringement and to collect damages for patent infringement in accordance with Russian law”.

Additionally, the OEM commented that it believes that “certain models of cartridges sold on the Russian market” by X-Com Shop Ltd. under the trademarks ‘CACTUS’ and ‘G&G’ infringe the patent in question. Canon repeated its usual IP statement, pointing out that “throughout the development, sales and marketing process, Canon respects the intellectual property rights of other companies and individuals and expects others to do the same.

“Canon remains committed to taking legal action against anyone who does not respect Canon’s intellectual property rights”.

The OEM has been pursuing infringement of a separate European patent in cases begun against companies across Europe throughout 2014: including Seine and Aster in the Netherlands; KMP and wta as well as tintenalarm.de in Germany; Zephyr SAS and Aster in France; and European Cartridge Warehouse Limited and Printer Supplies Technology Limited in the UK, though the latter two have filed for dissolution.

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UK companies in Canon case seek dissolution

August 15, 2014

European Cartridge Warehouse Ltd. and Printer Supplies Technology Ltd. have filed for dissolution, having both been named in Canon’s EU IP suit.dialoose_1359206747_Canon

The Recycler has learned that European Cartridge Warehouse Limited and Printer Supplies Technology Limited, both of which were run by Peter Lui and based in Warrington, UK, have filed for dissolution with the UK’s Companies House company registration office.

The two companies filed for dissolution on 27 July, using a ‘Striking off application’, in the text of which Companies House notes a business using the form “has applied to the Registrar to be struck off the Register and dissolved”, with all “remaining assets” of any company that is dissolved “passed to the Crown”. Neither company’s dissolution has yet been confirmed at the time of writing by Companies House, though the applications have both been received.

The patent infringement action saw Canon claim that both companies infringed its European patent (UK) number 2 087 407 by importing and selling “certain toner cartridges for use in various models of Hewlett-Packard laser beam printers”. The case related to the same patent mentioned in cases begun against companies across Europe throughout 2014: including Seine and Aster in the Netherlands; KMP and wta as well as tintenalarm.de in Germany; and Zephyr SAS and Aster in France.

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Remanexpo@Paperworld 2015 details and exhibitors revealed

August 14, 2014

Hall 6.0, where Remanexpo@Paperworld 2015 will take place

Hall 6.0, where Remanexpo@Paperworld 2015 will take place

The show is already three-quarters full for the January 2015 event in Frankfurt, with a number of exhibitors confirmed and an awards ceremony planned. 

The event, which will take place from 31 January to 3 February 2015, is taking place in Hall 6.0 after taking place in Hall 3.1 last year, which Messe Frankfurt states is part of the “reorganisation of the Remanexpo product group”, and six months in advance of the event, the organiser has announced that three-quarters of the floor space in the new hall is “already taken” by exhibitors, with an “extended complementary programme” of seminars and an awards ceremony planned.

The move to Hall 6.0, which The Recycler reported on earlier this year, is said by Messe Frankfurt to be an “ideal location” for Remanexpo that “meets all requirements and aspirations”, with the hall having undergone “extensive” renovation to meet “all modern technical standards”. Entrances have been “renovated and extended”, and lifts and escalators renewed.

Last year’s event saw the highest number of visitor and exhibitors since Remanexpo became part of Paperworld in 2011, with 165 exhibitors and 6,750 visitors, and Messe Frankfurt stated that “key players” from the industry have signed upfor the 2015 event, including Armor, DCI/Jet Tec, Katun, OCP, Pedro Schöller Printservice, Static Control and Uninet.

In terms of the seminar programme, the hall will feature a lecture area where speakers from the industry will discuss important topics and demonstrate products, and an awards ceremony run by The Recycler entitled The Recycler Awards will take place on 1 February rewarding industry companies. Awards will include ‘Remanufacturer of the Year’, ‘Supply Chain of the Year’, ‘Innovation of the Year’, ‘Customer Service of the Year’ and ‘Rising Star of the Year’.

Michael Reichold, Director of Paperworld, stated: “Hall 6.0 is ideal as a location, both for visitors and for exhibitors; it is near to the Torhaus Entrance (S-Bahn station) and can be easily reached via the Via Mobile. The recently renovated hall is, in addition, the perfect size for the number of Remanexpo exhibitors involved. We are delighted at the very good level of registrations in the Remanexpo product group. It is the ideal business platform for this product area on the international scene.”

David Connett, Editor and Publisher of The Recycler, commented: “Remanexpo is a unique opportunity to foster existing business contacts, to reach out to potential wholesalers and importers and to meet relevant business leaders. During the four days of the trade fair, you can make direct contact with decision-makers in the business world and see some very persuasive product presentations.”

Finally, Phil Sneath, DCI/Jet Tec’s Commercial Director, added: “We are of the opinion that Remanexpo is of inestimable value, as a way of making contact with potential customers and meeting international wholesalers and importers for our recycled ink-jet and toner cartridges. We expect an even bigger and better event in 2015, particularly in the light of the new location in Hall 6.0.”

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IDC reports “strong” growth in Western European hardcopy markets

August 13, 2014

The analysts stated that the region’s markets “continue to strengthen”, with a five percent increase in the second quarter over last year’s equivalent period.western europe

IDC reported on continuing “strong growth” for hardcopy peripherals in Western Europe in 2Q2014, with printers and MFPs increasing by five percent year-over-year to 4.92 million units shipped – a growth of more than 234,000 units. Positive growth was seen in colour laser and inkjet, but monochrome laser contracted “as the move to colour products continues”.

Overall shipments for the first half of 2014 are six percent higher than in 2013, whilst MFPs retained a 78 percent market share of all shipments, the same as in the last quarter, and the overall MFP market grew by 7.8 percent as printers declined by 3.6 percent. Colour laser and inkjet grew for both MFPs and printers, but monochrome declined for both, with printers falling “at a greater rate” than MFPs.

The inkjet market “showed good growth” in business and consumer segments, with most growth coming from the UK, now the “largest market in Western Europe for inkjet products” as a result of increases in consumer inkjet sales. The total market grew by 8.8 percent year-over-year, with business inkjet growing most with 12.9 percent, and consumer markets grew by 8.2 percent.

In turn, high-speed inkjets increased “by a quarter” compared to 2013, with IDC noting “these devices are becoming popular in a variety of markets”. Conversely, laser markets “stuttered”, with a decline of 1.1 percent “due to the continual decline in monochrome single-function printers”, as well as a “quarterly dip” in monochrome MFP sales.

Regionally, most countries saw growth “but there are still some signs that certain markets are struggling with the recovery”, with growth patterns “varied” in nations showing positive results – some saw strong double-digit growth and others low single-digit growth.

The German market grew 4.2 percent compared to 2013 – the same growth rate as the first quarter – and remains the largest overall market in the region. Colour laser grew, particularly in A4 MFP, but monochrome declined “at a greater rate”, meaning laser overall declined 2.1 percent year-over-year. Despite this, monochrome still holds two-thirds of all laser shipments, and inkjet growth “remained strong” with increases in consumer and business, and business inkjet “account[ed]” for one in five of all inkjets shipped.

France saw “flat” shipment figures compared to 2013, with its half-year performance “at the same level” as 2013. Laser remained flat, with the strongest markets colour and monochrome A4 MFP, and only inkjet grew, by 0.2 percent, with consumer inkjets showing “a slight dip”, though business inkjets saw a double-digit yearly growth.

Finally, the UK saw growth of 22.9 percent, making it the second-largest market. “Very strong” consumer inkjet growth is “one of the main reasons” for the growth, with business inkjet also growing, but laser declined by 5.9 percent. Colour laser increased but monochrome declined, and colour printers and MFPs saw growth, with 46 percent of all laser products now colour – a “greater ratio” than in Germany or France.

Phil Sargeant, Programme Director of IDC’s Western European Imaging Hardware Devices and Document Solutions Group, commented: “Confidence has clearly now returned to the Western European printing and imaging markets with 2Q14 being the fifth quarter in a row that has shown year-on-year shipment increases. The growth was initially being driven by business markets but consumer markets have shown gains in some countries, meaning that market confidence is also filtering through to home users.”

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35,000 counterfeit cartridges seized in Saudi Arabia

August 11, 2014

Authorities in Riyadh confiscated the counterfeit inkjets on Sunday in a continuation of attempts to stop cartridge counterfeiting in Saudi Arabia.

Some of the cartridges seized this weekend in Riyadh (Credit: Arab News/SPA)

Some of the cartridges seized this weekend in Riyadh (Credit: Arab News/SPA)

Arab News reported on the seizure of over 35,000 counterfeit printer cartridges in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this weekend, with the cartridges confiscated from “different areas” of the city in related searches by field inspectors from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The teams were said to have “clamped down” on a group of foreign workers who were using an old house in Riyadh’s Murabba district, where they were “repack[ing] poor quality ink cartridges and market[ing] them to consumers as authentic and genuine products”, with HP and Canon cartridges and labels found.

Over 5,000 individual cartridges were found, as well as over 4,000 empty cartridges ready for filling, alongside 8,000 labels “carrying HP trademarks”. At the same time, seizures in a villa in the Officers’ district and another two homes in the Atiqa district saw over 25,000 cartridges found, again intended for sale as HP and Canon originals.

Saudi authorities additionally revealed that they had previously raided homes in Shimaisi and Malaz districts in the city, where more than 15,000 cartridges were found, and all of the individuals involved across both sets of raids have been arrested and face investigation.

A Ministry of Commerce and Industry spokesman stated that it “has always maintained that it would not tolerate the violators”, as well as those “involved in the practises of fraud that put the health and safety of consumers at risk”.

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HP discourages use of remanufactured toner

August 6, 2014

hp-200x150OEM warns Australian business customers to “think twice before using remanufactured toner” in its business eNewsletter.

In its IT business eNewsletter, HP outlines reasons why it believes remanufactured toner “might be hurting […] instead of helping” businesses that use such products; firstly claiming that “it’s not very reliable and may harm your printer” due to “critical cartridge components” in reused products being “very easily damaged or near the end of their usable life” and so are “more likely to fail”.

It added that this could also “cause damage to your printer”, citing research by Lyra Research, which was acquired by Photizo Group in 2012, with the research allegedly finding that “nearly one in 10 LaserJet customers using non-HP cartridges end up with a damaged printer that requires cleaning or repair, and 26 percent experience downtime as a result of cartridge problems”.

Hidden costs are a further issue that HP claims remanufactured toner poses due to “hidden costs in the form of support calls, reprints, and wasted supplies” which may make using remanufactured toner “less economical than it might seem”. As a result, the OEM stated that “non-HP toner cartridges can actually cost up to 10 percent more than original HP toner cartridges”.

Continuing its list, HP stated that “it’s not necessarily better for the environment” to use remanufactured toner, claiming that “remanufacturing rarely prevents toner ending up in landfills”. It cited a 2014 study which allegedly found that “nearly 90 percent of the toner cartridges sold by the remanufacturers surveyed will ultimately be thrown away” as “most remanufacturers fail to collect their own products”.

In terms of the technology of remanufactured toner, HP claims that “remanufacturers can’t replicate HP technology exactly because HP technical specifications are proprietary and unpublished” and “most aftermarket toners lack uniformity in particle size”. The OEM therefore concludes that “using remanufactured toner will guarantee that you aren’t getting the quality your printer has the potential for producing”.

Finally, HP highlights the potential issue of page yields, claiming that those of remanufactured cartridges “do not equal those of HP cartridges” as “most do not adhere to ISO standards for measuring page yield”.

HP concludes that businesses should “do your research and figure out if it really will be as beneficial to your business as you might think” as “you could be surprised by the answer”.

What are your thoughts on HP’s email? Let us know at news@therecycler.com.

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Canon adjusts USITC case

August 5, 2014

The USITC's headquarters in Washington D.C.

The USITC’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

The OEM has removed claims relating to four of the nine patents named in the USITC case, as well as making other changes.

The case, which began in May as a separate complaint to the case in New York that began in January has recently seen a range of “partial termination[s]” regarding four of the nine patents initially named in the complaint in May, as well as the removal of two subsidiary companies originally named, who were found to no longer exist.

The USITC (United States International Trade Commission) received the motion for “partial termination of the investigation” at the start of August, with Canon specifically seeking to terminate the investigation “with respect” to the first claims relating to the following US patents: 8,469,744; 8,565,640 and 8,135,304. The OEM has also asked that claims one to four relating to patent number 8,676,085 be removed.

The OEM’s justification for removing these patents was said to be “based on Canon’s withdrawal of its allegations relating to these claims”, and doing so would also “streamline the investigation, and conserve the resources” of both Canon and the USITC. Additionally, partial termination of cases relating to specific patents are “routinely granted at the complainant’s request”, so the changes, the USITC adds, do not “warrant denial of Canon’s motion” in any way.

Canon itself stated that “there are no agreements, written or oral, express or implied, between the parties concerning the subject matter of this investigation as it relates to Canon’s present motion for partial termination”.

The case also recently saw Ninestar Image-Hong Kong and Seine Image-Hong Kong removed from the list of defendants. This does not mean that Ninestar and Seine have been removed – only that the USITC’s investigation found that both subsidiary companies do not exist as entities, with both removed from the case. Canon is seeking a GEO (General Exclusion Order) in the case, which The Recycler reported on in June.

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Static Control and Automation host Italian seminar

July 31, 2014

Delegates watch a Samsung CLP-365 technical demonstration given by Static Control’s Technical Support Manager James Macbeth

Delegates watch a Samsung CLP-365 technical demonstration given by Static Control’s Technical Support Manager James Macbeth

The largest manufacturer of aftermarket imaging systems and components held its latest seminar meeting in Salerno, Italy alongside official distributor Automation earlier this month.

The seminar, which ETIRA reported from recently as well, was hosted on 17 July by Static Control and Automation “to great success”, with 31 people attending from 17 different aftermarket companies.

ETIRA Secretary General Vincent van Dijk spoke and held a presentation called “Fight Against Clones” to raise awareness and educate remanufacturers and the sales channel about the dangers of clones, whilst other talks were given on market data, future trends, Static Control’s COLORCONTROL replacement imaging systems, and chip technology, alongside two remanufacturing demonstrations.

Daniela Salbego, Static Control’s Unit Business Manager for Italy, stated: “There is a lot of uncertainty in the Italian remanufacturing industry at the moment, with regard to lack of empties, IP concerns and a market seemingly full of clones. By coming here to meet with people who are dealing with these issues at ground level, we gain an improved understanding and are able to better communicate the solutions we offer for moving their businesses forward.”

She added: “The COLORCONTROL presentation allowed us to show remanufacturers how to successfully pursue the huge sector of the colour market currently occupied by OEM cartridges. We hope to communicate to as many people as possible the growth potential in tackling that share, rather than competing with each other over the small colour percentage claimed so far by the aftermarket.”

In turn, Germano Cavaliero, and owner of remanufacturer PD Toner, said: “Something needs to be done to prevent these illegal products which are devoid of any qualitative, ethical or environmental value, from being marketed without any impedance, putting the very survival of our businesses under severe pressure.”

Finally, Francesco Strazzabosco, Chairman of Automation, commented: “This seminar was a great opportunity for Static Control and Automation System to exchange information and help generate ideas, as well as show our commitment and support to the genuine remanufacturers in the region.

“Overall we were very encouraged by what an interactive event it was, with lots of questions and feedback from attendees. Thanks to the success of this event we are already looking to plan more events in other Italian regions later in the year.”

The free seminar programme was announced earlier this year, and will cover Europe and Asia. Seminars that have taken part so far include events in Poland, Greece, Romania, France, Latvia and the UK.

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More companies settle in Canon’s US IP case

July 30, 2014

Acecom, Green Project and Do It Wiser have settled with the OEM in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse in New York City, where the case is taking place.

Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse in New York City, where the case is taking place.

Acecom, Green Project and Do It Wiser agreed to the same Consent Judgement and Permanent Injunction as previous defendants did, including Nectron earlier this month, Provantage in May and OnlineTechStores in June.

The aforementioned settled companies are prohibited from  “making, using, selling and offering for sale in the U.S., and from importing into the U.S., the toner cartridges and photosensitive drum units that Canon accused of infringing its U.S. Patent Nos. 8,135,304, 8,280,278, 8,369,744, 8,433,219, 8,437,669, 8,494,411, 8,565,640, 8,630,564, 8,676,085, 8,676,090, 8,682,215 and 8,688,008”.

The case, which began in January, concerns “certain toner cartridges and photosensitive drum units sold for use in Canon and Hewlett-Packard laser beam printers”, and a complaint was taken up by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) as well earlier this year.

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Canon begins IP case against tintenalarm in Germany

July 28, 2014

The OEM has started a case against the German company for infringement of the same patent as in its other cases across Europe this year, with the company responding.

The District Court of Dusseldorf

The District Court of Dusseldorf

Canon announced today the latest complaint in its series of cases across Europe against companies it alleges have infringed its European patent, EP 2 087 407, which relates to a “drum unit and a process cartridge”, with the latest company targeted being tintenalarm.de, owned by Thomas Zenkel, and the case has been referred to the District Court of Dusseldorf.

As with the other cases, tintenalarm has been accused of “offering [the] sale of certain toner cartridges for use in various models of Hewlett-Packard German laser beam printers” that infringe the patent, with Canon seeking “injunctive relief and damages”. The OEM added that it respects the “intellectual property rights of other companies and individuals, and expects others to do the same”, adding that it is “committed to taking legal action against anyone who does not respect Canon’s intellectual property rights”.

Tintenalarm released a statement (in German) about the case on its website, stating that it was made aware of the court case on 25 July, but had been unable to agree on a “mutually acceptable declaration” in advance of the announcement. The company discussed the patent in question, and said it was “disappointed” that it had been “reprimanded”, having been a “champion of remanufactured toners”.

Tintenalarm added that should it lose the case, the remanufacturing of such toner cartridges “without replacing the OPC” would not be possible, and stated that this would be “very annoying even from the point of view of environmental protection”. It concluded that it hopes it “can agree with Canon […] and will inform” as soon as there is news.

The cases across Europe began in the Netherlands on 28 April against Aster Holland, with Seine Holland added to this case on 7 May; and later moved to Germany against KMP and wta on 23 May; then France against Aster and Zephyr on 29 May; before the latest developments against two companies in the UK. The Recycler has contacted tintenalarm.de for a comment.

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