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HP sees victories in patent infringement cases in Europe

HP sees victories in patent infringement cases in Europe

January 27, 2014

The OEM took action against infringement of its inkjet cartridges in Europe against a number of companies, with victory in one case, settlement agreements in a host of others and the continuation of legal action against another company. hp_1464896b

HP revealed on 24 January that it had “concluded litigation” against one German company, settled with seven Polish companies, and continued legal action with another Polish business over the sale of patent-infringing inkjet cartridges

The case in Germany concerned Frankfurt-based BestUse GmbH, whilst six defendants in the Polish cases were ABC Data S.A., Komputronik S.A., Modecom S.A., Praxis S.A., Scot Sp.z.o.o. and Kri Krzyszstof Muszalski. Another legal disagreement was also settled with Polish company Action S.A., whilst the OEM continues with another case against Polish company Black Point S.A.

The conclusion of legal action against BestUse GmbH concerned two separate cases, with the first regarding the sale of inkjet cartridges infringing HP’s 344, 920 and 940 inkjet patents, whilst the second corresponded to the sale of “newly made inkjet cartridges as ‘remanufactured’”. In both cases, the German company “refused to defend itself”, and so the court in Dusseldorf “confirmed all the claims raised by HP”, with the German company ordered to pay HP’s legal costs and provide information “regarding its suppliers”.

The first six of the Polish companies that settled with HP did so “as part of a wider patent enforcement programme in Poland”, and related to the sale of infringing inkjet print cartridges in the country. ABC Data resells Modecom inkjets, whilst Komputronik owns the Accura brand, and in turn Modecom is the “owner” of the Modecom brand, whilst Praxis owns the ePrimo brand, Scot Sp.z.o.o. distributes the Printe brand and Kris Krzysztof Muszalski owns the Expression brand.

When the companies were contacted by the OEM, they confirmed the patents “were valid and enforceable”, noting that they would each “cease from offering or selling products” in both Poland and other countries where the patents stand. A full list of the cartridges in the case can be found at the link mentioned earlier in this article. The infringing products were removed from the market and “arranged for destruction”, though the requirement to withdraw them “did not apply” to ABC Data, with HP “reimbursed for its legal costs”.

Two other Polish companies were mentioned by the OEM, with Action S.A., who previously settled with HP in 2012, resolving a “disagreement” with HP concerning inkjet cartridges infringing the OEM’s patents, agreeing to “abide by its commitments to not import or sell” them and agreeing to “an extended recall” of infringing consumables in the Actis and ActiveJet brands still on the market. The company also compensated HP for legal costs. The one case continuing in Poland is against Black Point S.A., which owns the Black Point brand, and which relates to the OEM’s integrated printhead inkjet cartridges.

HP’s Matthew Barkley, Programme Manager for Worldwide IP and Brand Protection, stated of the case: “HP remains committed to ensuring its investments in high technology products and intellectual property remain protected, and thus HP continues to be a differentiated supplier of innovative printing solutions to its customers.

“As the appeal of HP’s printing solutions continue to grow around the world, so do our efforts to protect HPs customers and valued channel partners.”

Barkley and his colleague Elizabeth Porter addressed the REMCON seminar audience at Remanexpo@Paperworld 2014 on Sunday 26 January, outlining recommended changes to certain aftermarket chips.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Europe HP IP

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