HP Protects Intellectual Property in Ink Technology
Company notifies Cartridge World of patent infringement; reaches settlement in lawsuit against Rhinotek
PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 20, 2005, HP today notified Cartridge World North America that it has discovered infringements of an HP ink patent in inks sold by multiple Cartridge World franchisees.
The infringements were discovered as part of ongoing worldwide testing and enforcement efforts within HP’s Imaging and Printing Group in order to protect its intellectual property rights.
In March 2005, the same initiative also uncovered ink patent infringements in certain InkCycle cartridges sold under the Staples brand. HP and InkCycle quickly resolved the matter after InkCycle changed its ink formulations.
“HP spends millions of dollars annually in R&D to create innovations that benefit our customers, and we are rigorous in our protection of this investment,” said Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of supplies, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. “HP hopes that Cartridge World North America will assist its franchisees in quickly complying with the law.”
In a separate matter, HP and Rhinotek Computer Products have reached a settlement in a lawsuit HP filed in March 2005 for false advertising and unfair competition. Rhinotek acquires used HP ink cartridges and refills them with generic ink prior to resale. HP’s suit alleged that Rhinotek’s packaging failed to adequately inform consumers that these “compatible” products are used, not new.
Research conducted on HP’s behalf confirmed that more than half of consumers surveyed mistook Rhinotek refilled products for new. Rhinotek has denied any wrongdoing, but has agreed, among other things, to modify its packaging to prominently disclose to consumers that these cartridges are used, refilled or recycled. HP believes the disclosure and other agreed changes will benefit consumers who have a right to know when they are buying used products.
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended July 31, 2005, HP revenue totaled $85.2 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they ever materialize or prove incorrect, could cause the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including the expected development, performance or rankings of products or services; statements of expectation or belief; and any statement of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the development, performance and market acceptance of products and services and other risks that are described from time to time in HP’s Securities and Exchange Commission reports, including but not limited to HP’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2005, and other reports filed after HP’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, 2004. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.
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