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HP Wins Key Inkjet Cartridge Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Press release from the issuing company

PALO ALTO, Calif.-Jan. 28, 2002--Hewlett-Packard has won a significant patent lawsuit relating to thermal inkjet printer cartridges. HP instituted patent infringement proceedings before the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) by filing a complaint against Microjet Technology Co., Ltd. of Taipei, Taiwan; Cartridge Hut and Paper Plus of Sun City, Calif.; Printer Essentials.com, Inc., of Reno, Nev., and Price-Less Inkjet Cartridge Company and ABCCo.net, Inc., both of Port Charlotte, Fla. HP's complaint contended that the companies infringed six HP patents by importing or selling inkjet cartridges manufactured by Microjet, including one model intended to replace the HP 51626A cartridge and another model intended to replace the HP 51629A cartridge. The ITC administrative law judge issued a lengthy decision detailing how the Microjet cartridges infringe five of the six HP patents. The judge also resoundingly rejected Microjet's claims that the patents were invalid. "This victory demonstrates the strength and depth of HP's patent portfolio,'' said Vyomesh Joshi, vice president and general manager, HP Imaging and Printing Systems. "HP has made a substantial investment in the research and development of inkjet printing technology to ensure high-quality products for consumers and business. We are pleased that the court has validated HP's intellectual property rights protecting those valuable innovations for the benefit of our customers and shareowners.'' Earlier in the proceedings, HP settled with defendant distributors Printer Essentials and Cartridge Hut after they each acknowledged the Microjet cartridges infringe HP's patents and agreed to immediately stop importing and selling the cartridges. The judge's decision is the critical first step to an order HP seeks from the ITC prohibiting the defendants from importing and selling any infringing inkjet cartridges into the United States. The ITC is a federal agency that provides objective trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches of government, determines the impact of imports on U.S. industries and directs actions against certain unfair trade practices, such as patent, trademark and copyright infringement.