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HP reveals global inkjet IP actions

January 12, 2015

The OEM announced new patent infringement cases in the Netherlands and Poland, and gave updates on cases in Spain, the USA and China.hplogonew

In a press release, HP reported on a range of “worldwide legal actions” concerning inkjet cartridge infringement in the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the USA and China, with some new cases detailed and updates given on pre-existing cases.

In the Netherlands, HP has begun three separate cases against one company – Digital Revolution B.V., based in Nederhorst den Berg – which operates an online printing supplies shop called 123inkt.nl, and operates “under different names in other countries in Europe”. Two of HP’s claims “allege infringement” of two patents concerning the sales of “newly-manufactured ink tank cartridges” compatible with HP’s 364 and 920 supplies.

The OEM notes that the cases “will be conducted under the accelerated regime for patent matters”, with trials set for October later this year, and the second complaint alleges “unfair competition” for selling “newly-manufactured toner cartridges as ‘totally rebuilt’”, with HP saying this is “intentionally misleading consumers that the product is recycled and remanufactured”. This case is “in summary proceedings”, with an oral hearing set for February, and all three cases were filed at the District Court of The Hague, which HP says is a “specialised patent court that also handles a significant amount of unfair advertising claims”.

HP’s cases in Spain follow other developments in the country, which The Recycler reported on last week, with 11 different companies accused of infringing two HP patents. The two main companies involved include Tintas y Toner Shop Ink, S.L.U. – previously trading as Ink Prime High Quality S.L.U. – and Vasco Informática, S.L., both of which are based in Malaga. HP claims both infringed two of its patents by selling “newly-manufactured inkjet printhead cartridges” for use instead of the 21, 22, 56 and 57 cartridges, with the case filed in the Commercial Court Number 5 in Barcelona.

In Poland meanwhile, HP reported that it has “continued its patent enforcement efforts” through settlements with companies concerning the “sale of various ink tank and inkjet printhead cartridges”; including Opole-based Chameleon S.A., Warsaw-based ePrimo.pl Sp. z o.o. and Rafcom Rafal Ziolkowski, and Wroclaw-based Telforceone S.A. The companies  agreed that the patents “were infringed”, and have “agreed to cease sale of the infringing products” as well as “withdraw and destroy remaining inventory” alongside paying a “portion” of HP’s legal costs.

The OEM is also continuing its case against Wroclaw-based Black Point S.A., with the last update on this case coming in January last year and a ruling expected this year. In the USA, the OEM’s case against Ninestar and Apex, reported by The Recycler in October 2014, also continues, with the complaint filed at the United States District Court of the Northern District of California concerning infringement of three HP patents through the sale of “newly-manufactured ink tank cartridges and related electrical storage devices”; with “treble damages” demanded for infringement from the companies.

Finally, the OEM’s IP actions in Zhuhai, which The Recycler also reported on in October, are against Speed InfoTech Ltd. of Shanghai and Jingying Technology, with three patents said to have been infringed in the “distribution and sale of inkjet printhead cartridges” compatible with the 816, 817, 860XL, 861XL and 818XL cartridges.

Speed InfoTech Ltd. of Shanghai is Shanghai YinJia Trading Company Ltd., and is one of Speed’s subsidiary companies in China, and Speed InfoTech told The Recycler that the products in question are manufactured by Microjet Technology Co. of Taiwan, with Shanghai YinJia Trading Company Ltd. selling the Microjet products in the Chinese market.

The case against Shanghai YinJia Trading Company Ltd. was filed at the Shanghai IP Court, while the Jingying case was filed at Shenzhen’s Intermediate Court. Speed InfoTech told The Recycler that it has stil not received a letter about the case from the Shanghai IP Court, and that the company will “respond accordingly and responsibly” when it knows more information.

Matthew Barkley, HP’s Programme Manager for Worldwide IP and Brand Protection, commented: “HP’s investments in high technology products and intellectual property are the core of HP’s competitive differentiation, and the source of value to our customers, partners and shareholders. HP remains committed to ensuring its IP remains protected, and will go where necessary to protect those investments.”

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