HP sues InkTec over patents infringment

A right IP pen and ink

HP is suing the German subsidiary of Korean firm InkTec for infringing its printer-ink patents. The company claims that ink found in the InkTec branded cartridge refill kits violates patents held by HP.

In a statement, the company said it was pursuing the matter in Germany because that is where the refill kits are found. It did not specify which patent it alleges has been infringed, but said that the violation was discovered as part of an ongoing, global "testing and enforcement" effort.

"Over the past year, [this initiative] has uncovered ink patent infringements by other companies that offer generic ink supplies through refilling stations or 'private label' brands," the company said.

Pradeep Jotwani, senior VP of HP's supplies, imaging and printing group, commented: "With more than 4,000 supplies patents, representing a deep heritage of innovation, research and development, HP will continue to vigourously defend intellectual property violations wherever and whenever they are discovered."

HP's supplies business is where it makes its highest margins. The company's long-running press "education" campaigns extolling the virtues of HP original inks and papers over refills and generic alternatives, are testament to how jealously it guards this lucrative market. ®

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