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Thread: Epson court decision

  1. #1

    Epson court decision

    This is of great interest to me, and others using 3rd party inks in their Epson printers. Epson is working toward a similar ruling for the large format cartridges as well. Using Jon's inks and 3rd party papers, I am currently making prints that in my opinion and that of others can not be touched by the quality of an out of the box Epson solution. I can only speak my own opinion. In fact, for my work, the solutions offered by the standard Epson inks and drivers yield unacceptable print quality FOR MY PURPOSES, you may have very different needs. There are others using MIS inks, Generations, and other setups for their own reasons this impacts as well. Beyond the printing issue, there are larger issues at play here too.
    That these aggressive technology corps have impacted the marketplace such that smaller older traditional manufacturers can't compete makes this even more difficult, since most of those products are now gone.
    If any of this seems relevant to you, please read Jon's post below, reproduced here with his permission.
    Thanks,
    Tyler




    Who would have known that something like this could happen in America?

    Unfortunately after reviewing nearly 500 pages of the court ruling as
    well as the ITC ruling, it is clear that this affects every company in
    the USA that imports either empty, filled, or CIS cartridges for
    desktop printers. It does not affect large format.

    EPSON set up this website to bring it to the attention of all
    cartridge resellers: http://itc.epson.com/

    This ruling only affects the USA and is now dependent upon the
    President of the USA, George W Bush, signing it into law - which is
    expected. It affects all desktop cartridges which have a chip parallel
    to the front of the cartridge but not the chip itself, the port
    through which ink feeds into the ink stem of the printer, and the
    device which holds the cartridge into the printer, also cartridges
    with foam or a bladder/valve. In short it covers all 750 models of
    EPSON products but only for the desktop. And yes CIS are affected. The
    end result being none of these cartridges will be allowed into the USA
    after the President signs it into law.

    It does give one pause to think that patent law has become more
    important in the USA than anti-trust law, and this may signal the
    beginning of entities rushing patents not in order to make innovation
    but rather to produce monopolies. It is a totally anti-competitive
    action which has occurred and is unfortunately a symptom of what is
    happening in the USA that affects people across all party lines. In
    short it affects every average US citizen, whether they are a
    photographer using monochromatic inks to replace the darkroom
    materials which are no longer manufactured, a scrap-booker trying to
    save money on their hobby, or the retiree that prints coffee mugs and
    mouse pads with dye-sublimation inks to augment their social security.

    Can you or anyone do anything?

    The International Trade Commission was charged with the below burden
    but may not have been presented with any evidence as to how it
    affected the USA because only a single surviving Chinese company was
    represented:

    -------
    "If the Commission contemplates some form of remedy, it must consider
    the effects of that remedy upon the public interest. The factors the
    Commission will consider include the effect that an exclusion order
    and/or cease and desist orders would have on (1) the public health and
    welfare, (2) competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, (3) U.S.
    production of articles that are like or directly competitive with
    those that are subject to investigation, and (4) U.S. consumers.

    If the Commission orders some form of remedy, the President has 60
    days to approve or disapprove the Commission's action."
    -------

    So, if you think that the your welfare is affected by the ITC decision
    or that competitive conditions will be affected, etc, you should
    quickly write the President of the United States and reference this on
    both your envelope and the letterhead:

    RE: International Trade Commission 337 Investigation No. 337-TA-565


    Please write the President. You have only a short time to act.



    start it thus:


    ------------

    President George W. Bush
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    [enter date here]

    RE: International Trade Commission 337 Investigation No. 337-TA-565

    Dear Mr. President,

    I am writing to you concerning the October 19, 2007 decision by the
    International Trade Commission concerning the Section 337
    Investigation in the Matter of Certain Ink Cartridges and Components
    Thereof (Inv. No.337-TA-565). Their decision is now coming to you for
    your approval, of which I hope you pause to reflect upon, and do not sign.

    The ITC decision adversely affects me because...[ this is where you
    write the because and you should speak of how it directly affects you
    or your business.]

    ...and dont forget to sign it!

    ------------


    If you know someone high up on the media chain - make a phone call to
    them. Its a very newsworthy story that is being kept very quiet right
    now, probably so as not to upset what is seen as the inevitable
    signing into law of this historic ruling on consumables. Anti-trust
    law used to prevent this from happening. I can only imagine what other
    foreign and usa corporations will also attempt to monopolize a piece
    of the American economy.

    OPTIONS:

    1) We recommend for our desktop users to look online for a supplier of
    CIS systems so they can be prepared to switch to bottles.

    2) InkjetMall will be contacting its customers with a special offer to
    encourage them to upgrade to large format systems which are not
    affected by this ruling.

    3) Save your current carts and learn how to take a syringe, draw a
    vacuum and refill from a bottle. A chip resetter available on the
    internet will refresh the ink memory chip. It may be necessary to
    temporarily tape over the ink outlet port in order to draw a
    sufficient vacuum.

    Of course, our European customers will be able to continue purchasing
    our desktop cartridges from our European resellers, but our European
    resellers will not be allowed to sell them to USA customers according
    to this ruling so this is not an option for USA customers. We can
    continue to purchase and fill inks for desktop in our overseas
    location for our European customers.



    best regards,

    Jon Cone

  2. #2

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    Re: Epson court decision

    I think there may be an misunderstanding here, but I might be wrong. I do not think any of this depends on the president signing something, and whatever he is doing, he is not signing it into law. I think the 60 day waiting period is to allow the White House to review this ruling to assure it is consistent with regulatory policy, but it will go into effect unless the president stops it.

    Sounds like the court action is an injunction based on patent infringement, which the president cannot do anything about, nor would changing the ITC ruling affect the court's ruling.

    > Who would have known that something like this could happen in America?

    Easy answer - anyone who has been following our intellectual property laws for the past 20 years. I do not like it, nor do I think it makes the best business sense in all cases, but for better or worse, congress has put the rights of institutional intellectual property owners ahead of everyone else.

  3. #3
    Photographer, Machinist, etc. Jeffrey Sipress's Avatar
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    Re: Epson court decision

    I read this whole post and still can't figure out what the core issue here is.

  4. #4

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    Re: Epson court decision

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Sipress View Post
    I read this whole post and still can't figure out what the core issue here is.
    I couldn't make much sense out of the original post either but I followed the link in it. This is about patent infringement claims against third party ink cartridge suppliers.

  5. #5

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    Re: Epson court decision

    Imagine a manufacturer of enlargers trying to tell people which brand of paper they are allowed to make prints with or which chemicals to develop them in.

    As if ink wasn't already expensive enough; I just hope this doesn't happen in Australia. It stands to reason that with ever greater investment in patentable technology in photography this sort of thing will become more common. I can't see it being anything but bad for the photographer.

  6. #6
    Confidently Agnostic!
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    Re: Epson court decision

    this may signal the
    beginning of entities rushing patents not in order to make innovation
    but rather to produce monopolies
    "the beginning of?"

    Hah!

    This is pretty stupid, but it's one of the many faces of the new form of capitalism: "make your business model viable by making the alternatives illegal or suing the competition". Fits nicely alongside "advertise and they will buy" and "monopolize and buy all the competition and you set the price".

    Adam Smith's invisible hand is rotting in a garbage pail outside a McDonald's restaurant.

  7. #7

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    Re: Epson court decision

    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    "the beginning of?"

    Hah!

    This is pretty stupid, but it's one of the many faces of the new form of capitalism: "make your business model viable by making the alternatives illegal or suing the competition". Fits nicely alongside "advertise and they will buy" and "monopolize and buy all the competition and you set the price".

    Adam Smith's invisible hand is rotting in a garbage pail outside a McDonald's restaurant.
    Closed systems don't always do well, look at Polaroid!

    If other MFRs have open systems, my new printers will reflect that flexibility!

    Asher

  8. #8

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    Re: Epson court decision

    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    "the beginning of?"
    Too true Walter. It's good to see that Epson are taking the trouble to inform importers of the court's decision. I wonder if they'll take the same trouble to tell prospective buyers that they can no longer use third party ink sets?

  9. #9

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    Re: Epson court decision

    > I wonder if they'll take the same trouble to tell prospective buyers that they can no longer use third party ink sets?

    I think Epson has been pretty clear on their position about third party inks for years. I do not think they need to warn people that "we really mean it" this time.

    Does anyone have an open system? Since the money is in selling ink, not printers, I doubt we will see one. There are some new ruling on patents that might reduce the chance the patent office will find that ink monitoring systems deserve patent protection.

  10. #10

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    Re: Epson court decision

    Jeez, Epson invented something, patented it and people are infringing on their patent. If you go along with this infringement, you shouldn't mind people using your photographs at will and ignoring your copyright...EC

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