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Canon announces issuance of General Exclusion Order

July 4, 2013

book 0018OEM releases statement as General Exclusion Order (GEO) against several aftermarket companies is issued.

Canon Inc. has released a statement announcing the issuance of a GEO by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) relating to an 18-month patent infringement case between the OEM and 34 aftermarket companies it accused in January 2012 of infringing patents “pertaining to certain toner cartridges and their photosensitive drums sold for use in Canon and HP laser beam printers”.

The GEO, which was issued on 28 June, will prohibit the importation of toner cartridges and their components that were found to infringe Canon’s patents, Nos. 5,903,803 and 6,128,454, into the US for as long as the patents exist, “irrespective of the source of the products”. Cease and desist orders were also issued by the ITC against some of the respondents named in the investigation which will prevent the sale of infringing toner cartridges and their components that have already entered the US.

The companies named in the investigation included manufacturers, importers and distributors of toner cartridges and photosensitive drums; with many reaching settlements with Canon since the complaint was filed by the OEM on 23 January last year. It was ruled on 28 February 2013 that Canon had proven violations of its patent rights, with the ITC adopting those findings in April.

Commenting on the conclusion of the investigation, Seymour Liebman, Senior Executive Officer at Canon Inc. and Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel at Canon USA, said: “Canon is pleased that the ITC has granted this GEO, and believes that it will go a long way in preventing the widespread infringement that we have seen. Canon expects the industry to respect the GEO, and expects everyone to cease any importations of infringing products.”

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