ITC Issues Another General Exclusion Order for Certain Inkjet Cartridges

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Nov 11, 2011

In October, the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a notice of final determination finding a violation of Section 337, issuing a general exclusion order (GEO), and terminating the investigation in Certain Inkjet Cartridges with Printheads and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-723). With this general exclusion, three major vendors, HP, Epson, and Lexmark, now have general exclusion orders to help curb primarily new build products entering the United States from any source that affect certain claims of their supplies patents. The table below details all of these complaints with patents and products affected.

Patents Affected by Recent ITC GEO Rulings

Case Number
Patents Product
Epson 337-TA-565 5,615,957; 5,622,439; 5,488,401; 6,502,917; 6,550,902; 6,955,422;
7,088,053; 7,011,397
New Build Inkjet Tanks Epson Ink Tanks; Cartridges RC-2; RC-6 and RC-10
Hewlett-Packard 337-TA-691 6,089,687; 6,264,301 New Build Inkjet Printheads HP 02 Inkjet Cartridges
Hewlett Packard 337-TA-723* 6,234,598; 6,309,053; 6,398,347; 6,481,817; 6,402,279 New Build Inkjet Printheads HP Inkjet Cartridges: 21 and 22; 27 and 28; 54, 56, 57, 58, 59
Hewlett Packard 337-TA-730 6,959,985; 7,104,630 New Build Inkjet HP 02 Inkjet Cartridges
Lexmark 337-TA-740 5,337,032; 5,634,169;
5,758,233; 5,768,661;
5,802,432; 5,975,378;
6,009,291; 6,078,771;
6,397,015; 6,459,876;
6,816,692; 6,871,031;
7,139,510; 7,233,760; 7,305,204
New Build Toner Cartridges Lexmark Toner Cartridges: E120, E220/E321/E323
E320/E322, E23x/E24x/E33x/E34x,
E25x/E35x/E45x, T52x
T61x, T62x, T63x, T64x

*Note: This HP complaint originally was filed under the 337-TA-711 complaint but that was withdrawn and replaced with the 337-TA-723 complaint. The complaints covered the same patents but added another respondent Asia Pacific Microsystems Inc. (Taiwan).

General Exclusion Orders (GEO) can be effective compared to Limited Exclusion Orders since GEOs prevent products that infringe certain patents from entering the United States from any source compared to Limited Exclusion Orders that only prevent products from the respondents that are listed in the complaint from importing infringing products. For supplies, GEOs can be an effective mechanism to control the influx of products, especially new builds, entering the United States. For the most part, the cartridges that infringe patents are the new-build compatibles usually imported from Asian companies. Although not typical, remanufactured cartridges can infringe if it has materials or components that infringe including ink, toner, or chips that have been replaced. The GEOs typically are directed at new build however we believed that remanufactured cartridges that infringe patents can caught up in the GEOs. This is one more example that the OEMs are not going to give up to protect their supplies business. When they see what they believe to be patent or trademark violations, OEMs will take the appropriate actions to protect their intellectual property.


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