Eight of the 24 companies being sued by Epson for selling Epson-compatible ink cartridges have agreed to stop selling the lower-cost products.
In February, Epson filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission against 24 companies that manufacture, import, or distribute after-market ink cartridges for sale in the US. The complaint sought to ban the companies from importing or selling the cartridges, and at the same filed a lawsuit in Oregon seeking damages for IP infringement.
Of those companies named, five have settled with Epson at both the ITC and district court. A further three companies have agreed with the ITC to stop importing cartridges, but will have their cases heard at the district court. Another eight companies have had default judgements filed against them at the ITC because they failed to respond to the complaint with the time allowed, said Epson. Trials against the remaining companies at the ITC will begin in January.
The settlements and judgments are the latest in a line of legal victories by Epson against third-party ink-cartridge makers, distributors and vendors.
In June, a court in Taiwan barred a local manufacturer of continuous ink supply systems from producing models for Seiko Epson printers after receiving a petition from the Japanese company. A month earlier, Epson succeeded in getting four German online retailers of printer ink cartridges to stop selling a number of third-party ink cartridges designed for use in Epson printers.
Printer makers like Epson typically rely on a business model that sees them selling printers at little or no profit, then making money down the line on ink cartridges and other consumable items. Epson sells its own replacement cartridges and a number of companies make and sell Epson-compatible products.