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OEM patents could affect European industry

OEM patents could affect European industry

October 10, 2013

The image provided in Brother's patent application

The image provided in Brother’s patent application

A patent application from Brother and a patent granted to Canon have the potential to affect remanufacturers and manufacturers in Europe.

Brother’s patent application, EP 2 611 617 A1, is the most significant for the aftermarket, referring to a method of recycling an inkjet cartridge and then reusing it – a development certain to affect remanufacturers and compatible manufacturers, as it goes into detail on the multiple steps, from recycling the cartridge to re-injecting ink into it when cleaned and ready for reuse.

The company’s document refers to the patent in summary as “a method of manufacturing a recycled liquid cartridge”, and gives a series of steps illustrated in a summary diagram as well as in full in the application. The manufacturing process itself is described as “preparing a liquid cartridge to be recycled”, with the next steps to remove a “blocking member” from the ink channel; switching a valve; injecting ink into the cartridge; and assembling the blocking member “or another blocking member different from the blocking member” to block the opening afterwards.

Meanwhile, the patent granted to Canon, EP 2 319 694 B1, has implications in terms of focusing on an inkjet printer with a “plurality of ink containers”. The patent refers to the manufacturing method for the inkjet supply and container, which is significant because patents are infringed when all features are copied by a manufacturer – in this case, with the cartridges being included in the unit as constructed, selling just inkjet cartridges for this printer would perhaps constitute patent infringement.

These new patents come after last December’s patents registered by Canon and a Greek aftermarket company, which aimed to patent remanufacturing methods for specific cartridges.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Europe IP Remanufacturing

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