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Epson Takes Action against 24 Aftermarket Ink Cartridge Companies to Protect Intellectual Property


- Company Lodges Complaint with International Trade Commission and Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit in US District Court -

- LONG BEACH, USA, February 21, 2006 - Epson lodged a complaint on Feb. 17 with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against 24 companies that manufacture, import, or distribute aftermarket ink cartridges for resale in the United States. The complaint, filed by Epson Portland Inc, Epson America Inc., and Seiko Epson Corp. alleges that these companies’ cartridges infringe at least nine patents that cover numerous models of cartridges for Epson’s desktop inkjet printers. Epson is asking the ITC to issue a general exclusion order prohibiting these companies and others from importing and selling infringing cartridges into the United States.

In conjunction with the ITC complaint, Epson has also filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon against these same 24 companies asserting similar patent infringement claims. The District Court complaint seeks a permanent injunction against infringement and monetary damages.

Epson has made continuous worldwide investments in R&D and significant investments in manufacturing in the United States to produce high quality, innovative cartridges. Both actions are part of Epson’s worldwide efforts to protect the company and its customers from unfair competition of all types, including the sale of patent-infringing ink cartridges.

“Epson recognizes and respects competitors’ rights to sell aftermarket ink cartridges as long as they compete fairly, which includes not infringing patents,” said Liz Leung, director of Supplies Marketing, Epson America. “As with numerous patent and trademark infringement lawsuits filed previously, we have taken both of these actions to protect the company’s innovative products from unfair competition.”

About Epson Portland Inc.
Epson Portland Inc. is the U.S.-based manufacturing subsidiary of Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation. Historically a printer manufacturer (from its opening day in July of 1986 until August of 2001 Epson Portland built over 15 million printers for business, government and personal use), the company currently manufactures ink cartridges for ink jet printers, refurbishes optical engines for LCD projectors and performs precision injection molding of proprietary plastic parts. Epson Portland manufactures over 40 million cartridges annually for sale in the United States and elsewhere.

About Epson America Inc.
Epson America is the US based marketing and service subsidiary of Seiko Epson Corp. Epson America offers an extensive array of award-winning image capture and image output products for the consumer, business, photography and graphic arts market throughout North, Central and South America. The company is also a leading supplier of value-added point-of-sale (POS) printers and transaction terminals for the retail market. Epson America Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif.

About Seiko Epson Corp.
Seiko Epson Corp. is a global leader in imaging products including printers, projectors and LCDs. With an innovative and creative culture, Epson is dedicated to exceeding the vision and expectations of customers worldwide with products known for their superior quality, functionality, compactness and energy efficiency. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corp., Epson is a network of 107 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and to the communities in which it is located.


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