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Canon and aftermarket company patent “remanufacturing methods”

Canon and aftermarket company patent “remanufacturing methods”

December 27, 2012

Diagram taken from the Canon patent document

The OEM was granted its European patent for a remanufacturing method for toner cartridges, which may have far-reaching implications for the aftermarket, though Greece-based Rethink SA has applied for a similar patent for inkjet cartridges.

The patent, European patent number EP 1 253 486 B1, was awarded on 7 November 2012, with The Recycler receiving the patent document in late December. The patent was applied for in 2002, and goes into remarkable detail about each step of the remanufacturing process for a toner cartridge.

The document states that the patent is expressly for “a remanufacturing method for a process cartridge”, with detail given on the workings of a toner cartridge, particularly its electrophotographic photosensitive drum and frame, the developing frame and the end covers. The patent goes into great detail about the process in a step-by-step overview, from removing the end cover to fixing new end covers on after replacing parts and refilling the cartridge.

With such a document as this, it is actually possible to infringe the entire patent by undertaking one small step in the process, so the patent has wide-ranging implications for remanufacturers of Canon products. However, the patent process allows for opposing documents to be filed before 7 August 2013, which is nine months after the publication of the patent.

In more positive developments, Greek aftermarket company Rethink SA has applied for a patent that aims to patent the method of remanufacturing an inkjet cartridge. The company, which recently also applied for a patent to detect compatible cartridges, specifies in the document the “unwanted ink residues” and “ultra-clean water” needed to clean out the cartridges, with its supporting image a flow chart of the process.

What is your perspective on the Canon patent? Would you be interested in mounting opposition to the patent? Let us know what you think by commenting below or by emailing us at news@therecycler.com.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Canon Legal Remanufacturing

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