Brother Petitions U.S. Int’l Trade Commission to Ban Copycat Toner Cartridges

While we’re used to seeing Canon Inc. go after unauthorized, third-party toner-cartridges, this week, Brother Industries petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban various China-made toner cartridges imported into the United States for sale. Brother alleges that the toner cartridges violate its intellectual property rights.

Japan’s Brother Industries as well Brother Industries (U.S.A.) and Brother International (U.S.A.) took part in the action.

Brother is requesting that the ITC conduct a 337 investigation concerning various toner cartridges and their components marketed by:

  • AMI Brothers, Inc., San Bruno, California;
  • An Beauty Limited, Hong Kong;
  • Aster Graphics, Inc., Riverside, California
  • Aztech Enterprises Limited, Hong Kong;
  • Billiontree Technology USA Inc., City of Industry, California;
  • Carlos Imaging Supplies, Inc., Hacienda Heights, California;
  • Cartridge Evolution, Inc., Brooklyn, New York;
  • Do it Wiser, LLC, Wilmington, Delaware;
  • Eco Imaging Inc., Irvine, California;
  • Ecoolsmart Co., Rowland Heights, California;
  • EPrinter Solution LLC, Pomona, California;
  • E-Z Ink Inc., Brooklyn, New York;
  • Globest Trading Inc., Ontario, California;
  • Greencycle Tech, Inc., South El Monte, California;
  • Hongkong Boze Co., Ltd., Hong Kong;
  • I8 International, Inc., City of Industry, California;
  • IFree E-Commerce Co., Hong Kong;
  • Ikong E-Commerce, Walnut, California;
  • Intercon International Corp., Brea, California;
  • IPrint Enterprise Limited, Hong Kong;
  • LD Products, Inc., Long Beach, California;
  • Linkyo Corp., La Puente, California;
  • Mangoket LLC, Alhmabra, California;
  • New Era Image LLC, Corona, California;
  • OW Supplies Corp., Corona, California;
  • Solong E-Commerce Co., LLC, Hong Kong;
  • Smartjet E-Commerce Co., LLC, Hong Kong;
  • Super Warehouse Inc., Blaine, Washington;
  • Theresa Meng, Brooklyn, New York;
  • Triple Best LLC, San Diego, California;
  • V4ink, Inc., Diamond Bar, California;
  • Zhuhai Ziaohui E-Commerce Co., Ltd., China.

Brother is seeking a general exclusion order (GEO) for toner cartridges sold by these companies, and stated in its petition: “These investigations demonstrate that the market for infringing toner cartridges is very lucrative, with a multitude of existing sources of infringing products and a low barrier to entry for future participants.”

The action was filed by Baker Botts, L.L.P., and is pending investigation.

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