Memjet Files Patent-Infringement Lawsuit Against HP, Claims HP Infringed on Page-Wide Printing Patents
Maker of page-wide color inkjet-printing technology Memjet has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit on August 11th against Hewlett-Packard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, alleging that HP infringed on eight Memjet patents related to Memjet’s page-wide “waterfall” printing technology.
Memjet’s complaint asserts that HP infringed on the following eight patents:
- U.S. Patent No. 6,575,549, “Ink Jet Fault Tolerance Using Adjacent Nozzles.”
- U.S. Patent No. 6,880,914, “Inkjet Pagewidth Printer For High Volume Pagewidth Printing.”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,156,492, “Modular Printhead Assembly With A Carrier Of A Metal Alloy.”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,325,986, titled “Printhead Assembly with Stacked Ink Distribution Sheets.”
- U.S. Patent No. 8,662,636, titled “Inkjet Printhead Having Rows Of Printhead Segments.”
U.S. Patent No. 8,678,550, titled “Printhead Assembly With Laminated Ink Distribution Stack.”
- U.S. Patent No. 8,696,096, titled “Laminated Ink Supply Structure Mounted In Ink Distribution Arrangement Of An Inkjet Printer.”
- U.S. Patent No. 9,056,475, titled “Inkjet Printer With Web Feed Maintenance Assembly.”
Memjet’s lawsuit seeks both to stop Hewlett-Packard from its alleged unauthorized use of Memjet’s patented page-wide waterfall technology, and to recover damages resulting from Hewlett-Packard’s use of that patented technology in HP’s PageWide printer products, including the Officejet Pro X generation of office printers, T-Series commercial presses, and PageWide XL series products. HP has also stated its intention to use its PageWide Technology across its printing portfolio, including in future wide-format and 3D printers.
Memjet states that it’s “invested substantial resources in the research and development of its page-wide waterfall technology over the last decade,” and has protected that investment through the development of its significant patent portfolio, including several thousand U.S. and foreign patents in the page-wide inkjet printing market.
Memjet is no stranger to contentious lawsuits. In 2012, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, filed a lawsuit suit against Kia Silverbrook, Janette Faye Lee, and their patent-holding company, Silverbrook Research, alleging fraud. The suit alleged that, after agreeing not to sell Memjet technology to third parties as part of the Kaiser Foundation’s investment, both Silverbrook and Lee allegedly planned to offer Memjet technology to third parties. That lawsuit was settled several months later, with Memjet assuming direct ownership and control of the Memjet intellectual property portfolio. as well as all research, development, and commercialization for Memjet technology, including services previously provided to Memjet by Australia-based Silverbrook Research.
While it’s impossible to predict how the lawsuit will result, HP may argue that its page-wide inkjet printing technology used by its 60-ppm color inkjet EdgeLine CM8060 MFP (introduced in 2007 and since discontinued) pre-date Memjet’s patents – although Memjet first demonstrated its page-wide printing also in 2007. Our reasoning for this is that in a similar patent-infringement lawsuit involving MPHJ Technology Investments, HP has argued that its scan-to-email technology pre-dates MPHJ claimed patents for scan to email – and under U.S. patent law, technology already in existence and used in products can’t be patented. This is only speculation, however. One thing is certain, and that this is certain to be a contentious lawsuit, and if it’s resolved in favor of Memjet would have far-reaching effects for HP’s page-wide inkjet printing – that’s a big “if,” however, as HP is likely to fight the lawsuit with everything it has.