What is Canon complaining about and how does an ITC investigation work?
Detractors label generic cartridges as patent infringing "clones" but there's much more to the story than that.
The original equipment manufacturers provide us with cheap printers but the total cost of ownership is a different story once four-years of replacement cartridges are accounted for.
The dongle-gear is one of hundred's of components in a Canon/Hewlett Packard laser printer cartridge, but this is the third round of ITC litigation on this one component:
- '829 investigation 2012
- '918 investigation 2014
- '1106 investigation 2018
Discrediting the Clone label
The litigation targets manufacturers, distributors, and resellers of new-build cartridges. However, while the OEM filed the complaint, media outlets sponsored by the remanufacturers were quick to jump on the bandwagon.
- By definition, the cartridges are not clones
- However, they may still infringe patents
- This will be determined by the investigation
The investigation will be completed within eighteen-months of commencement but will the outcome be any different to the previous ones?
- Markman hearing August 31, 2018
- Bench trial January 31, 2019
- ITC Final Determination July 29, 2019
Is there a place for generic ink & toner cartridges in a resellers business?
The patent owner has a right to sue
A patent is a government-granted monopoly
The aftermarket has a right to compete
But, does it do enough to avoid OEM patents?
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