HP Files New Patent-Infringement Lawsuit in China

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HP Inc. is returning to the courts in China in order to file a patent-infringement lawsuit against a seller of  unauthorized clone ink cartridges designed for use in HP printers. The seller that is the target of HP’s lawsuit is Zhuhai Sharing Color Printing Consumables Company, which is based in Zhuhai, China,

HP’s Chinese division, China HP Company, filed two lawsuits against Zhuhai Sharing Color Printing Consumables in China’s Shanghai IP Court last month, alleging that the company’s clone ink cartridges infringed on two HP patents. HP filed one lawsuit for each of the two patents that is says Sharing Color’s cartridges infringe upon.

In its lawsuit,  HP stated that the ink cartridges sold by Sharing Color violate two patents relating to HP inkjet print-head technology. HP further alleged that the company incorporated this technology into clone HP 803 ink cartridges. The company is consequently requesting damages totaling approximately $450,000 and an injunction barring sales of the cartridges.

China’s IP Courts

The World Intellectual Property Organization states that the Chinese government created the Shanghai IP (intellectual property) Court in 2014, as one of three specialized IP courts in China. According to the Kluwer Patent Blog:  “These IP courts are designed to try cases involving patents, technical secrets, computer software, new plant varieties, integrated circuit layout designs, and cases regarding recognition of well-known trademarks and antitrust issues.”

HP’s Previous Lawsuit in China

In April 2016, HP reported that in China, it had reached a court-mediated settlement agreement with Speed Infotech of Shanghai. The settlement was the result of a lawsuit filed by HP in early 2015 in the Shanghai IP Court regarding the distribution and sale of inkjet cartridges manufactured by Microjet of Taiwan and compatible with the HP 816, HP 817, HP 860, HP 861XL, HP 818KXL (black), and HP 818XL(color) ink supplies.

Under that settlement, Speed Infotech agreed that the HP patents are valid and enforceable, that these and other products are covered by these patents, and that it would stop selling any products covered by those patents in China and in other countries where those patents are registered. Speed Infotech also withdrew the products from the market, and HP received compensation from Speed Infotech.

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