HP sues Asian firms for patent violations

In U.S. filing, IT giant accuses a Taiwan printer cartridge maker and three other companies of infringing patents related to color ink cartridge technology.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

Hewlett-Packard has filed a suit against four companies based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, accusing the defendants of patent infringement, according to various reports.

The suit, filed in a federal court in San Francisco, alleges the Asian companies also converted over 300,000 genuine HP printheads from its facilities in Asia and sold these components globally as products manufactured by Hong Kong-based Mipo, Bloomberg said on Monday.

Other than Mipo, the defendants are Taiwan printer cartridge maker MicroJet Technology, Hong Kong-based PTC Holdings and SinoTime Technologies, a U.S. affiliate of Mipo.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal said Monday that HP has accused MicroJet of infringing six of its patents in ink cartridges. MicroJet sold these under its own name or as part of generic or custom-ordered cartridges sold to other companies including Mipo and PTC.

Mipo put products that were said to have infringed HP patents for sale online, on sites such as Amazon.com and Craigslist. The lawsuit also indicated that HP representatives purchased such products from Amazon between April and June last year.

The WSJ added that HP is seeking legal muscle to bar the defendants from selling the products it alleges to have infringed HP patents, as well as from using the Palo Alto company's products. It is also seeking to claim triple the damages incurred as a result of the infringement, in addition to other monetary awards.

A MicroJet spokesperson told Bloomberg the company's lawyers are looking into the situation, adding that HP had not contacted MicroJet prior to the suit. He confirmed that Mipo is a MicroJet customer, but said the company had no relations with SinoTime or PTC.

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