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Canon ups the ante against LD Products

May 1, 2019

On 20 March 2019 Canon filed a complaint against LD Products alleging patent infringement of the OEM’s ‘646 patent. On 29 April 2019 Canon amended the complaint alleging that LD Products also infringe the OEM’s ‘740, ‘494, ‘760, ‘916, ‘736 and ‘304 patents.

The original case revolved around Canon’s U.S. Patent No. 8,588,646 B2 (the ’646 patent) titled “Process Cartridge and Image Forming Apparatus”. This patent “describes and claims, among other things, a process cartridge for use with an electrophotographic image forming apparatus, such as a laser beam printer. For example, the process cartridge described in claim 83 of the ’646 patent includes a photosensitive drum, a developing roller contactable to the photosensitive drum, a frame supporting the photosensitive drum and the developing roller, and a spacing force receiving portion movable between a first position and a second, retracted position. When taking the first position, the spacing force receiving portion is capable of receiving a spacing force to space the developing roller from the photosensitive drum.”

The legal documents initially said that the defendant “has directly infringed and is directly infringing the ’646 patent by making, using, selling, and/or offering to sell in the United States and/or importing into the United States toner cartridges embodying the invention defined by one or more claims” of the patent.

Canon has now amended the complaint to include U.S. Patent No. 7,869,740 B2 (the “’740 patent”), titled “Process Cartridge and Image Forming Apparatus”, U.S. Patent No. 8,165,494 B2 (the “’494 patent”), titled “Process Cartridge Having a Member With a Force Receiving End Movable to a Position Away From a Cartridge Housing”, U.S. Patent No. 8,971,760 B2 (the “’760 patent”), titled “Process Cartridge and Image Forming Apparatus”, U.S. Patent No. 9,494,916 B2 (the “’916 patent”), titled “Process Cartridge and Image Forming Apparatus”, U.S. Patent No. 9,857,763 B2 (the “’763 patent”), titled “Process Cartridge and Image Forming Apparatus” as well as U.S. Patent No. 10,162,304 B2 (the “’304 patent”), titled “Process Cartridge and Image Forming Apparatus”.

Canon also accuses LD Products of indirectly infringing the patent through “virtue of its inducement of direct infringement of that patent by customers” who purchase the accused products.

The court documents viewed by The Recycler go on to say “At the very latest, Defendant was given notice of its infringement of the ’646 patent upon receiving the original Complaint in this action shortly after it was filed on March 20, 2019. On information and belief, Defendant has been aware of Canon’s infringement allegations as to the ’646 patent since at least as early as March 21, 2019, when Defendant’s CEO, Aaron Leon, commented on the lawsuit to the media. On information and belief, Defendant knowingly induces customers to use its Accused Products, including, for example, by promoting them for use in specific printers and/or providing customers with instructions for using them in those printers.”

Canon declares the defendant’s actions to be “damaging” and says they will “continue to cause irreparable injury and damage […] for which there is no adequate remedy at law.” The documents say Canon is “therefore entitled to preliminary and permanent injunctions restraining and enjoining Defendant from infringing the claims” of the patent.

Canon is seeking damages “adequate to compensate” the company for the alleged infringement, as well as payment of its legal costs and “such other and additional relief as the Court deems equitable, just, and proper.”

A jury trial is demanded in this case.

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