The USITC (United States International Trade Commission) fixes Guidelines for compatible inkjet cartridges importation

As a result of the lawsuits filed by Epson to stop the importation of third party inkjet compatible cartridges, the USITC banned many compatible products for Epson printers, noting that there were 23 counts of patent infringement.

However the Commission did not ban all compatible inkjet cartridges for Epson printers, and there are some Companies who still manufacture and distribute compatible cartridges that comply with USITC guidelines.

The new USITC guidelines are:

1. refilled cartridges that were EPSON branded cartridges must have first been sold by Epson to consumers in the U.S. There is a “first sale” exception to patent law that allows the refilling and resale of patented devices that were first sold in the U.S. provided no other patents are infringed;

2. The refilling process must be limited to legally permissible repair to restore the cartridge to usable condition, but not complete reconstruction by replacing major components like the ink tank and IC chip;

3. refilled cartridges must be prominently described at point of sale and on packaging as “refilled” or “remanufactured”;

4. Epson trademarks on refilled cartridges must be removed or covered so consumers are not misled into believing that the cartridges were refilled or approved by Epson.

5. You cannot use any misleading or unsubstantiated competitive claims to sell refilled cartridges. Depending on the available substantiation, examples of potentially misleading claims include statements like “Refilled in USA,” “Same ink as OEM cartridges,” or “Meets or exceeds OEM specifications.

Could it be a possibile guide-line also for the European Market?

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