Epson has settled two patent infringement lawsuits filed in the US District Court in Portland, Oregon, against Multi-Union Trading Company, a Hong Kong-based company that is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of after-market cartridges.
The Multi-Union cartridges are often sold in the US under the PrintRite brand, in generic packaging or under other brand names. The settlement completely resolves two separate lawsuits against Multi-Union and its US subsidiary Dynamic Print USA, that were filed by Seiko Epson Corporation, Epson America, and Epson Portland in April 2001 and April 2005.
The Consent Judgement and Permanent Injunction ordered by the court pursuant to the settlement provides that 75 Multi-Union cartridge models infringe a combination of 30 Epson patents, including 17 utility patents and 13 design patents and further provides that all of the patents are valid and enforceable.
Multi-Union and its subsidiaries are barred from importing and selling the infringing products effective sixty days after entry of the judgement. The injunction does not require the recall of products already sold. The parties also entered a settlement agreement, the financial terms of which have not been disclosed.
“Epson recognises competitors’ rights to sell aftermarket cartridges as long as they compete fairly,” said Elizabeth Leung director, Consumables, Epson. “In this case, we are pleased that the settlement confirms the validity and enforceability of all of Epson’s patents and bars further infringement. We will continue taking whatever action is necessary to protect our innovative products from unfair competition.”