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HP Sues Printer Cartridge Refill Companies

5 Apr, 2005

HP Sues Printer Cartridge Refill Companies

Hewlett-Packard, late last month, sued two companies that sell refilled ink cartridges. The company sued InkCycle in the U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin, alleging that the company's ink violates three HP patents. Afew days later, HP sued Rhinotek in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, accusing Rhinotek of false advertising by using packaging that indicates its refilled HP printer cartridges are new.

HP demands that InkCycle, based in Lenexa, Kansas, stop infringing its patents and pay damages and HP legal fees. In the case against InkCycle, HP claimed the company has violated three patents. The first concerns fast-drying ink that works well on plain paper, and the second two concern methods for preventing color from bleeding.

In the Rhinotek case, HP claims the Los Angeles County-based company’s "packaging and promotional materials are calculated to give consumers the impression that defendants' cartridges are new." HP wants a requirement that Rhinotek use the words "used" and "refilled" prominently on its packaging of refilled HP ink cartridges. HP also wants all Rhinotek profits from the time of the alleged deceptive advertisements.

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