Information for Importers and Resellers
The U.S. ITC Action Relating to Cartridges for Epson Printers
IMPORTANT UPDATE: The International Trade Commission (ITC) has now issued GEOs that cover all Epson on-carriage cartridges and all but a limited number of off-carriage cartridges.
Click here for a list of off-carriage cartridges prohibited by the recent GEO.
The Legal Requirements For Importing Ink Cartridges For Epson Desktop Printers Were Changed Drastically By ITC Orders Issued October 19, 2007 and May 26, 2016
On October 19, 2007 the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") issued a Final Determination that confirmed that all of the more than 750 accused cartridges for Epson inkjet printers infringe one or more of eleven Epson patents. The ITC issued a General Exclusion Order prohibiting all importers from importing infringing cartridges and Cease and Desist Orders that prohibit the named respondents from selling cartridges imported before the ITC Order. U.S. Customs and the ITC have been enforcing this GEO since its issuance and have recently increased enforcement with the formation of the Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEE).
In addition to the ITC actions, Epson filed U.S. District Court lawsuits against the same twenty-four companies named in the ITC action and three additional lawsuits against resellers that sold infringing cartridges.
On May 26, 2016 the International Trade Commission issued another GEO prohibiting all imports of ink cartridges that infringe five additional Epsonís ink cartridge patents, extending the coverage of the GEOs to all but a limited number of Epson inkjet cartridges.
On May 26, 2016 the ITC issued a GEO strengthening the patent claims that cover on-carriage cartridges and extending coverage to off-carriage cartridges, such as the ink cartridges used in business inkjet printers and large-format devices. The 946 GEO also covers Epsonís Replaceable Ink Pack system printers. A limited number of older large-format inkjet cartridges are not covered.
Epson created this website in 2009 to assure that importers and resellers were not caught unaware of the regulations that took effect due to the ITC Orders issued in the 565 Investigation. Epson has updated it with information specific to the 946 GEO and will continue to provide updates as necessary.