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Old 21-02-2006, 09:44   #1 (permalink)
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Epson Takes Action against 24 Aftermarket Ink Cartridge Companies

Company Lodges Complaint with International Trade Commission and Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit in US District Court -


- LONG BEACH, USA, February 21, 2006 -

Epson lodged a complaint on Feb. 17 with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against 24 companies that manufacture, import, or distribute aftermarket ink cartridges for resale in the United States. The complaint, filed by Epson Portland Inc, Epson America Inc., and Seiko Epson Corp. alleges that these companies' cartridges infringe at least nine patents that cover numerous models of cartridges for Epson's desktop inkjet printers. Epson is asking the ITC to issue a general exclusion order prohibiting these companies and others from importing and selling infringing cartridges into the United States.

In conjunction with the ITC complaint, Epson has also filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon against these same 24 companies asserting similar patent infringement claims. The District Court complaint seeks a permanent injunction against infringement and monetary damages.

Epson has made continuous worldwide investments in R&D and significant investments in manufacturing in the United States to produce high quality, innovative cartridges. Both actions are part of Epson's worldwide efforts to protect the company and its customers from unfair competition of all types, including the sale of patent-infringing ink cartridges.

"Epson recognizes and respects competitors' rights to sell aftermarket ink cartridges as long as they compete fairly, which includes not infringing patents," said Liz Leung, director of Supplies Marketing, Epson America. "As with numerous patent and trademark infringement lawsuits filed previously, we have taken both of these actions to protect the company's innovative products from unfair competition."
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Old 21-02-2006, 10:00   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
efforts to protect ...its customers from unfair competition of all types, including the sale of patent-infringing ink cartridges.
That is quite laughable really.

"Er, it's for your own good. You'll be better off paying 20 quid to us, rather than 99p to someone else."

I suppose if they were to say "Listen, we're doing it for no other reason than money", then it wouldn't be so bad, but to claim that it's in the interests of fair competition? As my plumber would say, that's a box of old ballcocks.

I wonder how damaging this will be to their business?
I know most of my friends have jumped the epson ship due to shoddy printers not lasting the time, instead choosing Canon.
 
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Old 21-02-2006, 10:27   #3 (permalink)
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If epson win and the ruling affects us I won't be buying genuine carts, I'll dump my printer and buy a different make. No matter that I like Epson printers.
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Old 21-02-2006, 10:29   #4 (permalink)
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I would predict that Epson will win because they are using their copywrite patents to bring the action.
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Old 21-02-2006, 11:26   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steep
If epson win and the ruling affects us I won't be buying genuine carts, I'll dump my printer and buy a different make. No matter that I like Epson printers.
Me too, for the price of two sets of genuine replacements you've pretty much got a new printer.
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Old 21-02-2006, 12:08   #6 (permalink)
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What would you go for? Which make?
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Old 21-02-2006, 15:14   #7 (permalink)
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Jumping ship won't help you, as Canon share some of Epson's technology (under license).
I suspect they also share some of the patents already mentioned.

Epson have already won one battle, with an out of court settlement
going into the millions.

I wouldn't touch none epson inks, as they are far inferior to the epson brand,
and that includes all major manufacturers.
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Old 21-02-2006, 16:17   #8 (permalink)
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If it was Microsoft doing what Epson are doing, the government would be stepping in with accusations of monopolising the market.

If its possible to refil cartridges and save money - why won't they allow us to do it? Whole thing stinks. I hate Epson.
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Old 21-02-2006, 16:22   #9 (permalink)
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ink costs too much already, you use far too much turning the damed thing on

poor call IMHO, corporations need to get a grip. having said that, the company i work for has a huge array of products, some of which have blatantly been ripped off....Release the hounds Smithers!!!!
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Old 21-02-2006, 16:28   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GfK
If it was Microsoft doing what Epson are doing, the government would be stepping in with accusations of monopolising the market.

If its possible to refil cartridges and save money - why won't they allow us to do it? Whole thing stinks. I hate Epson.
Put yourself in their place, would you be happy if someone ripped your ideas/products off.
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Old 21-02-2006, 16:29   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
Jumping ship won't help you, as Canon share some of Epson's technology (under license).
DIdn't realise that. Okay, I'm going to buy some coloured pencils instead
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Old 21-02-2006, 16:35   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
Put yourself in their place, would you be happy if someone ripped your ideas/products off.
If Epson didn't chip their cartridges and charge ridiculous prices for them, there wouldn't be any need for anyone to 'offer alternatives'.
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Old 21-02-2006, 16:41   #13 (permalink)
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Its fact that ink is stupidly priced.

I wasn't aware that Canon printers use chipped cartridges or other technology developed by Epson, I know for certain that mine doesn't and that the cheap compatibles I use give me excellent results.
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Old 21-02-2006, 17:01   #14 (permalink)
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For reference: I didn't say Canon use chipped cartridges.

Canon don't use a chip, they use an optical sensor.
They do use the same print head technology, built into the printer.

You may get excellent results while printing and for a few days/weeks afterwards.
But have you tried the sun test with the inks you use?
You'll find that your cheap ink will fade very quickly.
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Old 21-02-2006, 17:07   #15 (permalink)
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TBH I really don't mind though as I only use my printer to do small jobs at home that are not important. Usually I print upto A4 for myself as I tend to get bored with looking at the same shots in a very short period of time, well before the ink would get chance to fade. For important stuff I always use a professional printer
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Old 21-02-2006, 17:08   #16 (permalink)
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I'm still trying to find data on the technology sharing to back up my statement.

I'm 99.9% sure that Canon use Epson technology in the print head department, and Epson took on the single cartridge per colour from Canon.
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Old 21-02-2006, 17:12   #17 (permalink)
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I have no data to back up my thoughts but I am pretty sure that Canon developed their own print head technology as there was a big fuss over who (Epson/Canon) could produce the finest nozzels for increasing the DPI output.
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Old 21-02-2006, 18:42   #18 (permalink)
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I have no data to back up my thoughts either but I know that I'm the best and that's all there is.

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Old 21-02-2006, 20:54   #19 (permalink)
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My Canon iP4000 has a separate print head which needs inserting before the cartridges when you first use it, AFAIK Epson don't have that so how can they be the same?

I don't use or recommend Epson printers anymore despite how good the reviews might be, because they fail too regularly and cost far more to run if you stick to the genuine cartridges compare to Canon. My iP4000 almost runs the cartridges dry before needing replacement, I haven't seen Epson get anywhere near that, and they've often had a fair amount of ink left in them.
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Old 21-02-2006, 21:31   #20 (permalink)
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I didn't say they were the same I said:
Quote:
They do use the same print head technology
The print head may be seperate to the cartridge, but the technology is the same, Epsons piezoelectric print head.

Ask yourself why Canon binned the bubblejet technology.

All inkjet cartridges are designed so ink is left in them.
If you run the cartridge completely dry, you run the risk of damaging the print head, which canon printers will allow you to do.
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Old 22-02-2006, 08:01   #21 (permalink)
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Actually my Canon printer doesn't allow me to run off a print if one or more of the ink cartridges is dry, it stops before the print and asks me to replace the empty cartridge/s, then it gives me a override option but stresses that continuing could damage my printer. I am not having a go at Epson but that seems fair to me, it is my choice and my responsibility if I chose to damage something that belongs to me?
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Old 22-02-2006, 08:02   #22 (permalink)
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Just got this in.

Quote:
Seiko Epson Corporation Sues Medea International Limited


- LONDON, UK, February 22, 2006 -

Seiko Epson Corporation ("Epson") has started patent infringement proceedings in the English High Court against Medea International Limited in respect of UK patents belonging to Epson, which Epson believes are infringed by Medea International by importing ink cartridges compatible with Epson printers into the UK. Medea International sells these imported cartridges in the UK under a number of brands, including Inkrite PhotoPLUS.

Following rumours within the industry that Medea International is not infringing any UK patents by importing cartridges into the UK that are compatible with Epson printers, Epson has now chosen to set the record straight.

Medea International Ltd has been making public claims about the cartridges they are importing into the UK and and then selling in the UK under the Inkrite PhotoPLUS brand. These new cartridges incorporate a spongeless valve design which is said by Medea to be "revolutionary", "radically different and unique". The spongeless valve design is similar to an EPSON invention commonly known as "Epson Smart Valve Technology" and is the subject to a number of Epson patents which date back a number of years. Obviously Epson would agree that the "Smart Valve Technology" is revolutionary and Epson owns UK patents relating to this technology.

Epson devotes huge resources to research and development in order to give consumers the very latest technology and best experience in ink-jet printing. In the last year alone Epson has won over 300 awards for its products across Europe. The cost of all this research and development is of course a manufacturing cost for Epson and represents a huge investment. To protect this investment Epson also devotes time and resources into protecting its intellectual property.

Seiichi Hirano, chief executive of the Imaging Products Operations Division, Seiko Epson, said, "Epson is one of the world's leading digital imaging brands, providing its customers with high quality products and services. Our innovative research and development has produced breakthroughs such as the Micro Piezo printhead, the 3LCD projector and ink technologies such as DURABrite Ultra and UltraChrome K3. We do not take the decision to litigate against another company lightly. However to protect our technology against the various claims being made by Medea International and by their continued acts of importation into the UK which infringe Epson's UK patents and which undermine the benefits provided to our customers, Epson has been forced into taking the decision of starting UK patent infringement proceedings."

For more information on the Epson Smart Valve Technology please see http://www.epson.co.jp/e/technology/inkcart.htm
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