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August 17, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 4:33pm

NU-KOTE, UPSETTING PRINTER BIG BOYS, IS DEALT A LEGAL BLOW

By CBR Staff Writer

There’s been another flare-up in the war for control of the market for inkjet printer cartridges. A Federal Court judge in California has issued an injunction against Nu-Kote Holdings Inc’s Nu-Kote International and Pelikan Holding AG’s Pelikan Productions relating to the sale of various inkjet cartridges. The injunction comes as a result of an action brought against the companies by Seiko Corp’s Epson America Inc, and marks the extension of a preliminary injunction ordered in 1995 relating to the infringement of an Epson utility patent. Nu- Kote’s motion for a summary judgment on the Epson patent has been denied. The court, which on August 11awarded Epson more than $1 million for selling ink cartridges in violation of the earlier injunction, plans to fine the company again for continued sales. The Judge has not yet specified the amount of the additional sanctions but ordered that they will include Epson’s attorneys’ fees and lost profits, which Epson believes will exceed $500,000. The Judge also ordered a recall of all cartridges sold by Nu-Kote that infringe the amended injunction. For what it’s worth Nu-Kote claims that it is already shipping redesigned cartridges and thus the court’s decision won’t have a material impact on its current product line. This latest ruling comes a month after Dallas-based Nu-Kote won an injunction against Hewlett-Packard Co after Nu-Kote alleged Hewlett-Packard was falsely labeling its ink jet cartridges and implying they couldn’t be refilled when they had run out (CI No 3,203), damaging Nu-Kote’s sales of refill kits, which go for about half the price of a new cartridge. Nu-Kote is in the middle of a similar dispute with Canon Inc, and lost a preliminary judgment which has prevented it making and selling replacement ink cartridges for Canon’s BJC-6000 series Bubble Jet Printers.

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