HP Filing Bevy of Ink-Cartridge Patent-Infringement Lawsuits Against Companies in Europe & U.S.
January 9, 2015 – Hewlett-Packard is stepping up its game in protecting its ink-cartridge patents, with the company announcing a series of worldwide legal actions in its ongoing fight to combat the sale of third-party inkjet cartridges that it says infringe upon its patents.
In the Netherlands, HP has initiated three separate litigation cases against Digital Revolution B.V. of Nederhorst den Berg. Digital Revolution operates the online printing supplies shop 123inkt.nl in the Netherlands, and under different names in other countries in Europe. Two claims allege infringement of two HP patents in the sale of newly manufactured ink tank cartridges compatible with HP 364 and HP 920 ink supplies. These cases will be conducted under the accelerated regime for patent matters. Trials dates have been set for October 2015. The second complaint alleges unfair competition for the act of selling newly manufactured toner cartridges as “totally rebuilt”, which HP says intentionally misleads consumers that the product is recycled and remanufactured. This case is in summary proceedings with the oral hearing set for February 2015. All cases have been filed before District Court in The Hague, a specialized patent court that also handles a significant amount of unfair advertising claims.
In Spain, HP has filed patent litigation cases against 11 different entities alleging infringement of two HP patents. The two main entities involved are Tintas y Toner Shop Ink, S.L.U. which previously traded as Ink Prime High Quality S.L.U., and Vasco Informática, S.L., both of Malaga. HP’s claims allege infringement of two HP patents in the sale of newly manufactured inkjet print-head cartridges compatible with various HP print cartridges, including the HP 21, HP 22, HP 56 and HP 57 ink supplies. The complaint has been filed in the Commercial Court Nº 5 in Barcelona.
In Poland, HP has continued its patent-enforcement efforts by closing settlements with several companies regarding the sale of various ink tank and inkjet print-head cartridges that infringe HP patents. Those companies are:
- Chameleon S.A. of Opole
- ePrimo.pl Sp. z o.o. of Warsaw
- Telforceone S.A. of Wrocław
- Rafcom Rafał Ziółkowski of Warsaw
The companies have agreed that the HP patents are valid and were infringed, have agreed to cease sale of the infringing products, and to withdraw and destroy remaining inventory, and to compensate HP for portion of its legal costs. These settlements follow on previous settlements HP announced in 2013 and 2014. Separately, HP’s patent litigation matter continues against Black Point S.A. of Wroclaw, and HP anticipates a ruling in 2015.
In the United States, HP has filed a patent litigation action against Ninestar Image Tech Limited of Zhuhai, China, Ninestar Technology Co., Ltd. Of California, and Apex Microelectronics Co., Ltd of Zhuhai China. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants infringe three HP patents by selling newly manufactured ink tank cartridges, and related electrical storage devices, compatible with printers that use a wide range of HP ink tank cartridges, including models compatible with the HP 564, HP 932, HP 933, HP 950, HP 951 and HP 970 ink supplies. The complaint alleges that defendants “willfully infringe” upon two of the three asserted patents, with HP demanding up to treble damages for infringement of those patents. The complaint has been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
In China, HP has filed patent-litigation actions against Speed Infotech Ltd. of Shanghai and Jingying Technology of Shenzhen. Speed Infotech is allegedly the authorized distributor of compatible inkjet cartridges in China for Microjet Technology Co. of Taiwan. Jingying Technology is allegedly the manufacturing entity responsible for the domestic assembly and sale of compatible cartridge components manufactured by 3-Ink Technology Co., Ltd of Taiwan. The claims against Speed Infotech involve infringement of three different HP patents in the distribution and sale of inkjet print-head cartridges compatible with the HP 816, HP 817, HP 860XL, HP 861XL and HP 818XL (black and color) ink supplies. The claims against Jingying Technology involve patent-infringement of the same three HP patents in the manufacturing, distribution and sale of inkjet print-head cartridges compatible with the H 816, H 817, H 860, H 861XL, H 818KXL (black), H818XL(colour) ink supplies. The lawsuits against Speed Infotech are the first cases filed with the newly established Shanghai IP Court, while the lawsuits against Jingying Technology have been filed with the Shenzhen Intermediate Court.
- October 2014: HP SUES NINESTAR AND APEX FOR INKJET-CARTRIDGE PATENT INFRINGEMENT
- September 2012: HP SETTLES INK-CARTRIDGE PATENT DISPUTE WITH BRAZIL’S MAXPRINT
- October 2011: ITC RULES IN HP’S FAVOR IN THIRD-PARTY INK-JET PRINT HEAD, CARTRIDGE PATENT DISPUTE