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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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