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BREAKING NEWS: Canon Takes Aggressive Legal Step Against Aftermarket Companies

Posted Date 03/02/18

BREAKING NEWS: Canon Takes Aggressive Legal Step Against Aftermarket Companies

Yesterday (February 28, 2018), Canon dropped a legal bombshell on the aftermarket industry by filing a lawsuit under section 337 of the Tariff Act for Toner Cartridges and Components against a total of 48 companies, from China, Hong Kong, and 13 States in the US. The suit claims violation of the following 9 patents:

 
 

The named defendants in the suit are listed below. There is a speculation, however, that many more companies may be involved later, especially dealers or distributors that import compatible products to European regions.

  1. Ninestar Corporation, China
  2. Ninestar Image Tech Limited, China
  3. Ninestar Technology Company, Ltd., City of Industry, California
  4. Apex Microtech, Ltd., Hong Kong
  5. Static Control Components, Inc., Sanford, North Carolina
  6. Aster Graphics, Inc., Placentia, California
  7. Jiangxi Yibo E-tech Co., Ltd., China
  8. Aster Graphics Co., Ltd., China
  9. Print-Rite Holdings, Ltd., Hong Kong
  10. Print-Rite N.A., Inc., La Vergne, Tennessee
  11. Union Technology Int’l (M.C.O.) Co., Ltd., Macau
  12. Print-Rite Unicorn Image Products Co., Ltd., China
  13. Kingsway Image Co., Ltd., d/b/a Zhu Hai Kingway Image Co., Ltd, China
  14. Ourway Image Tech. Co., Ltd., China
  15. Ourway Image Co., Ltd., China
  16. Zhuhai Aowei Electronics Co., Ltd., China
  17. Ourway US, Inc., City of Industry, California
  18. Acecom, Inc.-San Antonio, d/b/a InkSell.com, San Antonio, Texas
  19. ACM Technologies, Inc., Corona, California
  20. Arlington Industries, Inc., Waukegan, Illinois
  21. Bluedog Distribution, Inc., Hollywood, Florida
  22. Do It Wiser, LLC, d/b/a Image Toner, Alpharetta, Georgia
  23. EIS Office Solutions, Inc., Houston, Texas
  24. eReplacements, LLC, Grapevine, Texas
  25. Frontier Imaging, Inc., Compton, California
  26. Garvey’s Office Products, Inc., Niles, Illinois
  27. Global Cartridges, Burlingame, California
  28. GPC Trading Co., Limited, d/b/a GPC Image, Hong Kong
  29. Hong Kong BoZe Co., Limited, d/b/a Greensky, Hong Kong
  30. Master Print Supplies, Inc., d/b/a HQ Products, Burlingame, California
  31. i8 International, Inc., d/b/a Ink4Work.com, City of Industry, California
  32. Ink Technologies Printer Supplies, LLC, Dayton, Ohio, 
  33. LD Products, Inc., Long Beach, California
  34. Linkyo Corp., d/b/a SuperMediaStore.com, La Puente, California
  35. CLT Computers, Inc., d/b/a Multiwave and MWave, Walnut, California
  36. Imaging Supplies Investors, LLC, d/b/a SuppliesOutlet.com, SuppliesWholesalers.com, and OnlineTechStores.com, Reno, Nevada
  37. Online Tech Stores, LLC, d/b/a SuppliesOutlet.com, SuppliesWholesalers.com, and OnlineTechstores.com, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  38. Kuhlmann Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Precision Roller, Phoenix, Arizona
  39. Print After Print, Inc., d/b/a OutOfToner.com, Phoenix, Arizona
  40. Fairland, LLC, d/b/a Proprint, Anaheim Hills, California
  41. Reliable Imaging Computer Products, Inc., Northridge, California
  42. Apex Excel Limited, d/b/a ShopAt247, Rowland Heights, California
  43. The Supplies Guys, LLC, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  44. Billiontree Technology USA, Inc., d/b/a Toner Kingdom, City of Industry, California
  45. FTrade Inc., d/b/a ValueToner, Staten Island, New York
  46. V4INK, Inc., Ontario, California
  47. World Class Ink Supply, Inc., Woodbury, New Jersey
  48. 9010-8077 Quebec, Inc., d/b/a Zeetoner, Canada
  49. Zinyaw, LLC, d/b/a TonerPirate.com and Supply District, Houston, Texas

 

Canon is suing nearly all of the large aftermarket manufacturers from China as well as dealers and/or distributors from the US who have been selling compatibles. One notable exception to companies targeted appears to be those who sell remanufactured products, such as Zhuhai Mito Color Imaging Co., Ltd.,, who was not included in the suit. As compatibles have become more acceptable and popular among consumers and their quality has steadily and rapidly improved, especially during this past year, the growing competition has greatly impacted OEMs by eroding their market share and taking a strong toll on their sales revenues. Industry insiders claim that Canon has been collecting samples in preparation for this lawsuit at least six months prior to filing.

We will have to wait and see how this lawsuit unfolds and closely monitor its impact on the aftermarket industry.

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