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Canon patents hold industry significance

Canon patents hold industry significance

June 18, 2014

An image from Canon's patent application

An image from Canon’s patent application

One application from Canon and one already granted patent in Europe may have implications for the remanufacturing industry.

Canon’s application, EP 2 721 448 A2, relates to a cartridge “removably mounted” into an electrophotographic image forming apparatus including a “photosensitive unit”. The application is significant as the cartridge itself is mounted into the rest of the apparatus, as opposed to the entire apparatus being referred to as the cartridge.

The document covers movements and interactions between the toner section and the developer and electrophotographic sections, specifically in which direction each portion and a link member, which is “rotatably coupled” with the two drums, turns. The significance is that the cartridge is not only separate from the two drum units, but that the document covers the interactions and movement of the system, with every aspect covered under the proposed patent, meaning remanufacturing or reassembling the cartridge would be considered infringement.

In turn, a patent granted to Canon, EP 1 229 406 B1, also has relevance for the industry, in that it relates to the “twisted gear” used in toner cartridges – the type of gear that has been the subject of a number of US-based patent infringement cases over the past number of years. The document discusses different elements of a toner cartridge, including the electrophotographic photosensitive drum, its components and operation, as well as different claims related to the patent including “a process cartridge including a drum”, a printer and a system “comprising a printer and process cartridge”.

The patent is important for the industry to be aware of as infringement would occur in selling a remanufactured cartridge with a replaced gear unit, with the document covering the entire construction and operation of the cartridge.

Canon has previously either applied for or been granted patents with potential impacts for the aftermarket in March earlier this year  and in December 2012.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Canon Europe IP

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