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Ninestar issues statement on USITC investigation

March 15, 2019

The company has issued a statement following ALJ Dee Lord’s decision to terminate Canon’s investigation, which was based on allegations of patent infringement by the OEM.

Ninestar, one of the aftermarket companies involved in the investigation, wrote, “Following the Markman Order and as anticipated, the ALJ Dee Lord issued the initial determination (ID) which granted Ninestar’s motion for summary determination of non-infringement and terminated the investigation in its entirety, among others. The ID will become the determination of the Commission 45 days after the service provided that neither party petitions for review within 10 days.

Ninestar cartridges found to be not infringing are characterised by the pistol style gears (known as “lever” and “button”, per different generations) and are released to react against 918 Investigation initiated in 2014. The industry may very well recollect that this design-around solution was the first one to be admitted not infringing in the ITC as well as the first redesign commercialised and available for the market. However, few people know that the R&D process on this redesign started long before. To protect its IP rights created on this solution, Ninestar began to file patents applications from 2009 and kept expanding the portfolio. So far, Ninestar has been awarded 160+ patents all over the world that covers virtually all viable embodiments of the pistol solution.”

The company goes on to explain that the USITC investigation was launched in 2018. Ninestar wrote, “As always, Ninestar is vigorously defending its products and customers on one hand and developing new designs on the other. The Sidewinder solution was announced three months after the commencement of the Investigation and was admitted in July by Canon not infringing the asserted patents. In another two months, the quality-improved and client-friendly solution called SW4 was announced and was admitted not infringing as well. This SW4 design are now generally used and stably performed on our full range of products.”

Ninestar concluded, “We respect IP rights of others and we also request ours to be respected. To take actions and assert IP rights will become one of the priorities of Ninestar legal department in the next couple of years. At same time and like always, Ninestar will continue to devote in technology innovation and quality improvement to bring customers the best products and service.”   

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