HP Sues Ninestar and Apex for Inkjet-Cartridge Patent Infringement

new headquartersHewlett-Packard has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Ninestar Technologies and Apex Microelectronics in the United States California Northern District for inkjet-cartridge patent infringement. The case is Hewlett-Packard versus Ninestar Image Tech Limited (China), Ninestar Technology Co. Ltd. (China), and Apex Microelectronics Co., Ltd. HP is seeking triple damages, as well as a judgment acknowledging that the companies infringed on its patent, and a preliminary and permanent injunctions preventing the companies from infringing on the patents.

HP alleges that certain of the ink cartridge sold by the companies infringe on HP patents: 6,089,687, 6,264,301 , and 6,454,381 (the 381 patent), with all three patents applying to HP’s inkjet printer cartridges.

The 687 patent involves the method and apparatus for specifying ink volume in an ink cartridge. The  301 patent relates to parameters in a replaceable component (cartridge), and the 381 patent involves providing ink cartridge-extraction characteristics to a printing system.

HP argues that the three companies knowingly directly and through subsidiaries, agents, and/or divisions, have made, used, imported and sold electrical storage devices (chips) for HP printers that use the 564, 920, 932/933, 950/951, and 970 cartridges, which infringed on at least one claim of its 687, 301 and 381 patents. It also argues that Apex, Ninestar China and Ninestar USA had actual knowledge of the 301 patent before filing their action and actual knowledge of its infringement, but acted despite the likelihood that its action would infringe on a valid patent.

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