April 21, 2016
The OEM has won two patent infringement lawsuits against two separate toner cartridge resellers.
In a press release, the OEM noted that it won the lawsuit “for the distribution of unlicensed, non-original equipment manufacturer (non-OEM) toner cartridges that were found on first instance to infringe Samsung’s patents”. The patents in this case were the German parts of the European patents EP 2 325 801 and EP 2 256 559, and Samsung “prevailed against 11 defendants in the first instance”, with two appealing but losing at the Munich Court of Appeal.
The court ruled that the two companies “infringed” and resold toner cartridges “that were moulded to be compatible with Samsung printers”, ordering the two resellers to “stop selling all products that infringe on the patented features and recall those that have been distributed since 14 April 2012”. The OEM added that “irrespective of the infringement of Samsung’s patents, non-genuine toners may produce low quality prints and can lead to various printer problems, such as excessive noise and hardware failure”.
Its warranty “does not cover damages caused to printers that break down due to the effects of non-genuine toner” and so it is “taking steps to prevent such problems for customers”. It also cited evidence that “genuine Samsung toners print nearly twice the page output of non-genuine counterparts”, according to a 2014 Buyers Laboratory study.
Finally, it pointed out that in its belief, “genuine toners produce longer-lasting prints that do not smudge. Genuine Samsung toner cartridges have also been certified for environmental safety. Customers can identify a genuine Samsung toner by checking the label on the cartridge box. The label should change colours when seen from different angles, and the embossed characters have a distinguishable texture”.
David SW Song, Senior Vice President of the Printing Solutions Business at Samsung, commented: “We are pleased with the judgment. The lawsuits are intended to protect our intellectual property rights, the rights and interests of consumers and those of companies that produce and sell legitimately manufactured toner cartridges. We will continue to take action against resellers that sell illegal, unlicensed toners that are compatible with our products.”
Last year, the OEM won another case in Germany concerning a separate European patent, EP 1 975 744, which The Recycler reported in December 2013 had also been used to bring cases against seven German resellers, while in October 2014 Samsung took up “substantive proceedings” against five more German companies for infringing the same patent.
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