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Epson takes Illinois companies to court

October 4, 2018

The OEM has filed a patent infringement complaint in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.

Epson filed the complaint on 27 September 2018, alleging infringement of its ‘917, ‘749 and ‘116 US patents by two Illinois-based companies, CIS Systems, Inc. and Absolute Inkjet Incorporated.

The products concerned in this case are aftermarket ink cartridges for use in Epson printers.

As explained in the court documents, two general exclusion orders have previously been issued by the ITC, prohibiting the importation of ink cartridges that infringe Epson’s patents. Figures working in the aftermarket industry “know that importation and sale of ink cartridges for use with Epson printers may violate” these general exclusion orders.

Epson also states that it gives notice of its patents “by virtual marking of its cartridges”.

The OEM says it is bringing this action “to recover money damages, for a preliminary and permanent injunction, and for other relief”.

The court papers say that this action “is also related” to thirteen other recently filed actions, as well as five legal proceedings pending in Oregon.

The defendants in this case have been accused of importing, offering for sale, and selling ink cartridges which infringe Epson’s patents. Epson revealed that it had contacted both companies and informed them of the ITC exclusion orders and their infringement, but the defendants continued to import infringing ink cartridges into the United States and sell them via their websites.

As a result, the OEM says it “has suffered, and will continue to suffer, substantial damages”.

Epson is seeking that both CIS and Absolute Inkjet Incorporated “be preliminarily and permanently enjoined from continued infringement”, that they pay Epson the damages incurred from their infringement, and that these damages be trebled. Epson also wishes to be awarded its attorney fees and other legal costs.

A jury trial has been demanded by the OEM in this case.


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