LONG BEACH, Calif. – Dec. 15, 2016 – Epson today announced that Epson America Inc., Epson Portland Inc. and Seiko Epson Corp. filed three patent infringement complaints on Dec. 14, 2016 in the U.S. District Court in Portland, Ore. against HT Tech, Inc. and HT Imaging Inc.; InkJet2U LLC and Worf Corporation; and Shoppers Smart LLC, Houses Investing LLLP and Houses Investing of Florida, Corp. The complaints allege infringement of claims from U.S. Patent 6,502,917 and U.S. Patent 8,794,749. These specific patent claims were already adjudicated as valid and enforceable in two well publicized actions filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”), resulting in General Exclusion Orders that bar importation of all newly built and remanufactured cartridges that infringe the claims.
The lawsuits filed today against merchants selling on the Amazon Marketplace supplement earlier enforcement efforts by Epson to protect trademarks and patents and ensure that legitimate resellers can compete fairly for sales of printer supplies for Epson printers. The lawsuits allege extensive sales of patent infringing cartridges and seek permanent injunctions against further infringements and monetary damages.
“We are encouraged that enforcement programs have already achieved a high degree of intellectual property compliance and fair competition in traditional retail channels,” said Jilana Miller, Epson’s Associate General Counsel. “As more consumers and Epson authorized resellers move to internet commerce, our goal is to provide the same level of confidence in the printer supplies for Epson printers purchased from internet marketplaces as they have in supplies purchased elsewhere.”
Epson has a long history of vigorous legal action to protect the company, consumers and legitimate resellers from unfair competition encompassing a broad range of efforts to reach infringers throughout the distribution and sales channels:
- Two ITC actions that resulted in the well-publicized ‘565 and ‘946 General Exclusion Orders that prohibit all imports into the U.S. of a wide range of infringing cartridges for Epson consumer inkjet printers, business inkjet printers and wide format professional printers. Epson and other printer OEMs have worked very closely with U.S. Customs to achieve extensive enforcement of General Exclusion Orders, resulting in numerous and frequent seizures of infringing shipments over the past two years.
- U.S. District Court lawsuits addressing specific infringers with a renewed focus on internet marketplace resellers. Epson recently filed two other U.S. District Court lawsuits against Amazon and eBay merchants. In September 2016, Epson filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against InkSystem LLC and related companies for alleged counterfeit sales through eBay and Amazon, in addition to its own websites. The InkSystem case has already resulted in seizures with U.S. Marshalls of thousands of counterfeit Epson-branded cartridges. In November 2016, Epson filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nano Business and Technology Inc., an eBay and Amazon reseller that had previously settled patent infringement claims with Epson.
- Frequent enforcement of intellectual property infringements and trademark misuse through the brand protection programs administered by Amazon and eBay.
- Notice programs to encourage fair competition by informing resellers of infringing printer supplies of Epson’s intellectual property rights and the procedures for accurately and fairly listing printer supplies for marketplace sales.
“We intend to deter internet resellers that continue to infringe Epson’s patents and misuse Epson trademarks, so the large majority of legitimate resellers can compete fairly,” explained Miller. “We will continue to leverage the cooperation we have received through the enforcement programs administered by marketplace owners like eBay and Amazon, while taking the legal actions necessary to protect Epson and the legitimate printer supply industry from this type of unfair competition.”
About EpsonEpson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies. With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.
Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 73,000 employees in 91 companies around the world, and is proud of its contributions to the communities in which it operates and its ongoing efforts to reduce environmental impacts.
Epson America, Inc., based in Long Beach, Calif., is Epson’s regional headquarters for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. To learn more about Epson, please visit: epson.com. You may also connect with Epson America on Facebook (facebook.com/Epson), Twitter (twitter.com/EpsonAmerica), YouTube (youtube.com/EpsonAmerica), and Instagram (instagram.com/EpsonAmerica).