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Epson files Florida patent infringement suit

July 23, 2018

In court papers filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Miami) and seen by The Recycler, Epson is filing a patent infringement case against two local corporations and an individual.

In the legal documents, filed on 13 July 2018, the defendants are named as SinoTime, Mega Leader, and an individual named as Celine Jiang, also known as Salina Chen and Li Yuh Chen.

Epson is asserting the alleged patent infringement of United States Patent No. 6,502,917 (“the ‘917 patent”), United States Patent No. 8,794,749 (“the ‘749 patent”), and United States Patent No. 8,454,116 (“the ‘116 patent”).

The “infringing products” are described in the papers as “aftermarket ink cartridges for use with Epson printers.” The papers state, “Over the years Epson has brought numerous actions in various district courts as well as the United States International Trade Commission (“ITC” or “Commission”) for infringement of its patents.  In fact, the ITC has issued two general exclusion orders that prohibit the importation of ink cartridges that infringe certain Epson patents, including the three patents asserted in this case.  Epson’s patent enforcement efforts have been widely marketed, covered, and reported by the aftermarket ink cartridge industry and by Epson itself.  As a result, the aftermarket ink cartridge industry is intimately familiar with the ITC’s general exclusion orders and Epson’s patents.”

The Florida-based defendants are cited as “wilful infringers” of both the OEM’s patents and the ITC’s general exclusion orders. Epson said it is bringing this action in order to “recover money damages” as well as seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction and “other relief”.

This case is linked to twelve previous patent infringement cases involving Epson as it includes “one or more” of the patents involved in this lawsuit, and is also related to five other legal proceedings and ITC investigations.

The defendants involved in this case are two Florida corporations, SinoTime and Mega Leader, and an individual called Celine Jiang who also goes by two other aliases. Celine Jiang is the owner of SinoTime and Mipo America as well as the Director and President of Mega Leader.

The legal documents state that “On information and belief”, the defendants have been importing, offering for sale and selling ink cartridges which infringe the above-mentioned Epson patents via company websites and online stores. The documents also assert that, through the actions of the defendants, “Epson has suffered, and will continue to suffer, substantial damages”, as a result of which it is entitled to a preliminary and permanent injunction.

Epson is also seeking treble damages, that the OEM be awarded “reasonable attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses and expert witness fees, and costs” as well as any other relief the Court “deems just and proper.

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