June 14, 2019
In a rare turn of events, HP finds itself on the receiving end of a Lexmark inkjet patent infringement lawsuit.
In three separate court papers filed on the 11th June, Slingshot Printing LLC, alleges that HP is breaching several US patents; 6,137,502; 6,213,587; 6,243,115; 6,394,593; 6,485,124; 6,666,449; 6,773,088; 6,817,707; 7,014,299; 7,244,015; 7,258,434; 7,311,385; 7,819,498; 7,841,712; 7,938,523; and 8,113,618
These patents were first granted to Lexmark, and in 2013 The Recycler reported that Lexmark’s had sold its portfolio of inkjet technology and assets, including the patents-in-suit for approximately $100 million to Funai Electric Co. Ltd. (“Funai”). In April this year Funai subsequently assigned to Slingshot all substantial rights, title and interest in the patents-in-suit.
According to the filings Slingshot alleges that HP’s inkjet cartridges infringe at least one or more patents. The cartridges covered are: HP 60, HP 60XL, HP 61, HP 61XL, HP 62, HP 62XL, HP 63, HP 63 XL, HP 64, HP 64 XL, HP 65, HP 65XL, HP 97, HP 564, HP 564XL, HP 902, HP 902XL, HP 920XL, HP 931, HP 951, HP 971 HP 932, HP 933, HP 950, HP 950XL, HP 970, HP 970 XL, HP 971 XL, HP 972, and HP 980.
Also cited are HP’s inkjet printers: Deskjet 1000, Deskjet 1010, Deskjet 1050, Deskjet 1051, Deskjet 1055, Deskjet 1056, Deskjet 1510, Deskjet 1512, Deskjet 2050, Deskjet 2510, Deskjet 2512, Deskjet 2514, Deskjet 2540, Deskjet 2541, Deskjet 2542, Deskjet 2543, Deskjet 2544, Deskjet 3000, Deskjet 3050, Deskjet 3050A, Deskjet 3051A, Deskjet 3052A, Deskjet 3054, Deskjet 3056A, Deskjet 3510, Deskjet 3511, Deskjet 3512, Deskjet 3516, HP Photosmart C6250, HP Photosmart 6500, HP OfficeJet 2620, HP OfficeJet 4630, HP OfficeJet 4632, HP OfficeJet 6600/6700, HP Office Jet Pro 6978, HP OfficeJet Pro 7720, HP OfficeJet Pro 7730, HP OfficeJet Pro 7740, HP OfficeJet Pro 8600, HP OfficeJet Pro 6978, HP OfficeJet Pro 8710, HP OfficeJet Pro 8720, HP OfficeJet Pro 8730, HP OfficeJet Pro 8740, HP OfficeJet Pro X, ENVY 4500 e-All-in-One, ENVY 4501, ENVY 4502, ENVY 4503 e-All-in-One, ENVY 4504 e-All-in-One, ENVY 4505, ENVY 5530 e-All-in-One, ENVY 5531 e-All-in-One, ENVY 5535 e-All-in-One, HP T120 and HP T520.
Slingshot is seeking a judgment that HP has infringed one or more claims of the asserted patents, appropriate damages including pre or post-judgment interest, costs, and disbursements.
Funai is a Japanese based OEM contract manufacturer who manufactured inkjet printer hardware equipment under consignment for Lexmark, collaborating with the company from the development stage. Having acquired Lexmarks printer-related product’s patents, product development technologies and an ink cartridge factory, they began manufacturing ink cartridges at the former Lexmark plant in the Philippines. In February 2015 Funai started to producing printers under the KODAK brand.
EdOp: The inkjet market is highly competitive and is a mainstream part of HPs printer and supplies as the market continues to mature the lawyers are getting busier. This legal action is significant and if successful, could have repercussions for the aftermarket as well. However, as is the way in these cases, expect HP to defend themselves vigorously, and if HP has infringed, expect a licensing deal to emerge from the legal action.
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