Midwest Athletic Association Files Patent-Infringement Lawsuit Against Ricoh

A non-practicing patent holder, the Midwest Athletics and Sports Alliance (MASA), a subsidiary of Midwest Youth A&S, Inc., which is classified as a public-benefit corporation, has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Ricoh USA, alleging Ricoh has infringed on three patents MASA has obtained.

The patents involve technology for enhancing color prints and for Ricoh’s customer-replaceable supplies for its higher-volume printers and MFPs.

‘582 Patent

MASA’s U.S. Patent No. 7,502,582 (‘582) involves technology for a tandem color printer apparatus having five or more color printing stations for applying color toner to form a color image in a single pass.

The technology involves printing colored images with improved color gamut and enhanced gloss, using five or more different color pigments to form images; depositing a clear toner overcoat on the image to improve image quality; and subjecting the clear toner overcoat and the image to a gloss-enhancing process.

MASA states that the following Ricoh products infringe on the ‘582 patent:  Pro C7200, Pro C7200S, Pro C7200E, Pro C7200X, Pro C7210, Pro C7210S, Pro C7210X, Pro C7210SX, and the Duplo Ultra 300A UV Coater.

‘425 Patent

MASA’s U.S. Patent No. 7,720,425 (‘425) is similar to the ‘582 patent, and involves a tandem color printer apparatus having five or more color printing stations, and applying a clear toner overcoat.

It states the following Ricoh products infringe on the ‘425 patent: Ricoh Pro C7200, Pro C7200S, Pro C7200E, Pro C7200X, Pro C7210, Pro C7210S, Pro C7210X, and Pro C7210SX.

‘282 Patent

MASA’s ‘285 patent provides an operator alert that a printer component needs to be replaced based on a comparison of the current usage state of the component to the expected life span of the component. For example, a toner cartridge using ‘285 technology may be assigned an LED indicator that indicates a toner cartridge’s expected life span. The LED indicator is triggered based on the comparison mechanism that compares use of the toner cartridge to the expected life span of the toner cartridge. In another example, the ‘285 technology may also display service codes or messages listed on the printer’s control panel display when the toner cartridge is nearing the end of its expected life span.

Ricoh products that are said to infringe on the ‘282 patent include the Pro C5300S/C5310S, Pro 8300S/ 8310S/8310/8320S/8320, Pro 8300s, 8310s, 8320s, 8310-8320, Pro C7200S/C7210S/C7210X/C7210SX/C7200e, and Pro C9200/C9210.

MASA is seeking a jury trial and damages. The complete lawsuit is available here.

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