ITC Ruling on EPSON cartridge patent in the US

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by lucida, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. I've just received an email from MIS (inksupply.com) informing me that EPSON
    have won a ruling in the States on the sale of patented ink cartridges. The
    company will therefore no longer supply the infringing items - which I presume
    includes their empty refillable carts which I use.

    I'll double check this with their support centre and also enquire as to whether
    they will still be able to ship to the UK where this ruling will not (yet!) apply.

    Has anyone any more details on all of this - or even an alternative source of
    reliable 'empties' (for a 2100/2200) ?
     
  2. I recieved the same email. I think it covers the Chinese import cartridges that they have been selling and might include their refilable cartridges which are not an exact copy of the Epson cartridge internally. The email says they will continue to offer inks and refilling supplies for cartridges.
     
  3. Here's the full text:


    ITC Ruling affects Epson printer owners
    Lake Orion, Michigan - November 8, 2007

    MIS Associates, Inc. (www.inksupply.com) was recently provided a copy of a ruling issued by the United States (ITC) International Trade Commission in Washington DC, (http://www.usitc.gov/). This commission is

    an independent, quasi-judicial Federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade. The agency investigates the effects of dumped and subsidized imports on domestic industries and conducts global safeguard investigations. The Commission also adjudicates cases involving alleged infringement by imports of intellectual property rights. Through such proceedings, the agency facilitates a rules-based international trading system. The Commission also serves as a Federal resource where trade data and other trade policy-related information are gathered and analyzed. The information and analysis are provided to the President, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and Congress to facilitate the development of sound and informed U.S. trade policy. The Commission makes most of its information and analysis available to the public to promote understanding of international trade issues. (http://www.usitc.gov/ext_relations/about_itc/index.htm)


    As some of you may be aware Epson America, Inc. filed a complaint with the above named government agency as well as a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against 24 companies that had been importing inkjet cartridges which Epson argued violated U.S. patents held by Epson. The ITC ruled in favor of Epson on all grounds, and issued a number of orders mandating compliance from importers, resellers and other parties not named in the complaint or suit.

    You can read more about the ruling at the links below. In keeping with legal and fair business practices, MIS Associates, Inc. will comply with the ITC ruling and not sell infringing products. We have been notified by virtually all of our previous and current suppliers that Epson compatible cartridges will no longer be available in the US market. We are aggressively taking action to comply with the ruling and plan to be in full compliance in the very near future. This action will necessitate changes to our web site. Any orders that have included cartridges that are infringing will not be shipped. Any warranty issues on existing orders will be handled on a case by case basis through our eSupport trouble ticket system at inksupply.helpserve.com

    What Happens Now?
    Currently, the order is awaiting the President's signature to finalize the ruling. If for any reason the President finds that the ruling will adversely affect the American public he may choose to ask the ruling to be modified or he may simply not sign it.

    If you feel this ruling affects you adversely we strongly urge you to contact your local congressman. There is a great deal of information available through the links below and across the Internet. We will be adding updates to our blog and our news page. Check them often for the latest news.
    Moving Forward
    Prior to the industry wide global distribution of these infringing cartridges by the Epson named defendants, MIS Associates, Inc. specialized in Refill Kits designed for OEM cartridges allowing you the end user customer to refill and re-use your original cartridges. We continue to offer a full line of Refill Kits that include ink, the tools needed to access the filling area, and everything else to make the cartridge work again in your printer.

    We will of course continue to provide full support for other items in our product line; Archival, Color and Black and White Inks for refilling, Fine Art Paper, Heat Transfer ink and substrates, Refill Kits, Refilling Accessories, Laser Toner Cartridges, and Solvent Inks. These products along with your support and technical contributions are what made MIS ASSOCIATES, INC, the company it is today. Please continue to look to us for all of your inkjet printing needs. Feel free to contact us if you can not find what you need, we will always be happy to help you find what you need to keep printing top quality work at a cost effective price.

    Further Information
    Below are links to additional information sources concerning the ITC determination.

    www.itc.epson.com

    http://searchapp.usitc.gov/edis3/app (Enter 565 in the search box and click GO)

    http://inksupply.helpserve.com/
    Contact Information
    Please research all of your concerns at the above links. If you have any questions regarding our products please submit a support ticket. We typically reply the same day or the next business day.

    http://inksupply.helpserve.com/

    Please note that we will be closed on Monday, November 12, 2007, in observance of Veteran's Day.


    As always, thank you for your support and ongoing business.

    The staff at MIS Associates, Inc

     
  4. We could stop using Epson completely:
     
  5. We could stop using bogus cartridges, and stop complaining about poor Epson print quality.
     
  6. jtk

    jtk

    It's long past time for alternative inkers to redesign around the patent (they saw coming and did nothing)...but more importantly, it's time for them to improve their inks, to reduce odds of printer clogging/destruction...or to leave the business. No mercy.

    Visit any of the Epson-dedicated chatrooms to see which inks
    result in clogs of the pigment machines (2200 and later). The older non-pigment machines (1280 and earlier) suffered OEM clogs, the 2200 and newer pigment machines rarely do with Epson OEM pigments, commonly do with alternatives.

    I hope MIS/Piezo/Lyson et al get it together to create better products, not just to beat the patent...they saw this patent situation coming years ago.
     
  7. The patent has nothing to do with the inks- only the cartridges.

    I've found MIS pigments (MISPRO and UT-R2) reasonably reliable on two R220s that I run. It's necessary to do nozzle checks before printing, however. I print every few weeks.
     
  8. In NZ dollars my 7800 carts cost $220 + tax each - and the printer takes 8 of them - that's $1760 + TAX (and freight) to fill the baby up - and I wouldn't consider using a 3rd-party cartridge for a second.

    With genuine carts I know I'm going to get 60 to 120 years out of my prints - and many years of trouble free operation out of the printer. With 3rd party inks, who knows - I've seen Wilhelm Imaging Labs reports on some Chinese inks that started to fade after less than 2 months - I've heard of others who have stuffed printheads.

    Personally, I'm happy to pay for quality - I'm also happy to pay the company that footed the bill for putting the R & D into developing that quality - I'm also happy that their profits allow them to continue to invent even better products.

    In terms of the ITC ruling? Way to go Epson - good job - keep up the good work!
     
  9. I've only ever used genuine Epson inks, so the ruling doesn't really affect me. However I'd be much happier for Epson getting the ruling if it meant a decrease in genuine Epson ink prices now that they've eliminated the generics.

    I don't quite understand the patent issue with the generic ink cartridges though. You can find generic medicine, generic grocery products, even generic whitening strips to brighten your smile, and all sell for much less than the original branded product. None infringe on any patents though (I'm guessing) or they too would be pulled from the shelves.

    Does anyone know in a nutshell what the actual patent infringement was? Was it the shape of the cartridge? Was it something inside the cartridge? I guess I'm just not understanding why there can be so many generic versions of so many products, but not ink cartridges for Epson printers.
     
  10. No, what Epson will likely do is increase ink prices now that there is no competition for their printers. They probably make massive profits on ink.

    Some patents are just disgusting.
     
  11. Maybe then morally copyrights should be eliminated too; and thus photographers immoral disgusting profits can be halted? Part of the price of owing a patent or copyright is defending theft. These inforcement costs are not free. Why is patent or copyright disgusting?
     
  12. I have been buying what I thought were genuine Epson cartridges for my 1280 printer. The packaging reads Genuine Epson but also reads "FOR USE IN CHINA" The price for these is little more than $5 less than Epson's or the local Office Depot.

    Are these really genuine?

    --Jimmy
     
  13. The aftermarket cartridges infringe on 11 Epson patents; legal patents owned by Epson. The two patents most infridged on are US patents 7011397 and 7008053. There are about 2 dozen ( USA, German, Korean and Chinese )companies named that infinge on Epsons patents. 18 have settled before the ITC ruling; 6 are being fought with via legal action. The illegal infringers probably are disgusted; they want to still sell illegal items and avoid the law. There is a bond of 13.60 per imported illegal cartridge until the review is done.
     
  14. Is the angst about this EPSON cartridge issue against patents; or that the patent is invalid?
     
  15. "They probably make massive profits on ink."

    This IS how epson and all other printer manufacturers make their money, and is therefor why they are so pissed about other people bumping in on their product. Quite honestly, except for the professional wide format models, all inkjet printers are pieces of plastic that cost very little to make.

    What I don't understand is this: "We will of course continue to provide full support for other items in our product line; Archival, Color and Black and White Inks for refilling,"

    So does that mean they will just be offering continued support for cartridges already out there, or are they still selling some cartridges? I only care about pigment BW, I have been thinking about switching to them for a year or so. Pigment BW is something epson doesn't offer so thats quite unfortunate.
     
  16. jtk

    jtk

    "reasonably reliable," in the case of 3rd party inks, often enough adds up to total destruction...as regularly reported...OEM pigments (as opposed to OEM inks of antiques from 1280 and back) don't deliver that death blow, based on past reports in all sorts of forums. Notice that Epson doesn't need to sell "cleaning carts." People can chime in that THEY have no trouble, and I didn't either for about a year with a top 3rd party product. Then it killed a printer.

    Epson's pigments have always been free to rise (never influenced by Ebay, MIS, Piezo), the alternative products were so poorly marketed that they surely had no impact whatever on price(only Calumet really made an effort, and they quit).

    Epson's prices are controlled by two main factors: Competition from other major vendors (HP, Canon, maybe Kodak) and usage...if we use less because price rises, they get hurt.
     
  17. Frank, with respect to medicines the generic drug maker usually has to wait until the patent expires before they can make and sell the molecule. There are exceptions where the FDA thinks that the drug/vaccine is of such importance that it gets other makers into the action right away. Since it costs hundreds of millions of dollars in R&D money to develop a new drug - including searching through potential compounds, doing the basic science in the lab, and then running clinical trials, it is only fair that the pharmaceutial company try to recover the costs during the period of patent protection.
     
  18. So is this ruling worldwide or US only ?
     
  19. Ilkka Nissila wrote:

    "No, what Epson will likely do is increase ink prices now that there is no competition for their printers."

    No, they won't. If they did that they risk losing market share to the likes of HP and Canon.

    "Some patents are just disgusting."

    Yeah the nerve of those guys - how dare they try to protect the millions they've invested in R & D and do their best to ensure the on-going viability of their company!
     
  20. Kelly Flanigan wrote: Why is patent or copyright disgusting?
    The patents are on the cartridges, not the ink, right? But Epson has no K7 inkset and their K3 set is only available for their more expensive models which have limited color gamuts. So you need, according to Epson, one printer for high quality black and white, and another for color, and if you should want glossy black and white then you're just screwed. Third party products added to what an Epson printer could do. Clog? Possibly, but the average lifetime of an Epson printhead is about 1 year (I'm on my 6th photo Epson) anyway, so if you get a clog after that, you could have had a busted printer by that time anyway, using all Epson cartridges.
    Since the Ink, not the cartridge, is the essential product we want to buy Epson's patents should apply for the ink, not the cartridge. But since the ink formulations used by third parties are different from Epsons, Epson designed the cartridges so that they cannot be refilled and third parties (now) cannot make them. Artificially, to prevent customers from having choices in ink (not cartridges, I am happy with Epson's cartridge plastic thank you very much).
    Colin Southern wrote: how dare they try to protect the millions they've invested in R & D and do their best to ensure the on-going viability of their company!
    The R&D cost is for the printer, print head, their ink development (which is different from 3rd party inks) and so on. If I want to use the characteristics of Epson ink or paper, I am happy to pay for whatever it costs to develop it. If I want to use the characteristics of 3rd party ink or paper, I would like that the money goes to the developer of the product, which is the 3rd party, not Epson. Epson makes the printer and an artificially patented plastic cartridge. If Epson should sell empty cartridges that could be used to fill with 3rd party ink I would be happy to pay to Epson for the development of the cartridge and 3rd parties for the development of their ink. Coupling the cartridge (which is just a plastic box) with ink (with substantial development cost, not Epsons, but that manufactureres of each ink type) is arrogant and unfair to the customer.
    Since photographic prints from an Epson cost many times that of traditional photographic methods, I would venture to guess that they make a massive profit and have no trouble covering their investment in R&D of the cartridge plastic.
    I wrote "No, what Epson will likely do is increase ink prices now that there is no competition for their printers." Colin wrote: No, they won't. If they did that they risk losing market share to the likes of HP and Canon.
    Epson printers have higher print quality than the others. That's why we use them and put up with their high ink costs. Yet this high quality has very likely nothing to do with the patents that are infringed here, but their print head design and also inks (not cartridges).
    I've been wanting to use K7 inks and Ultracrome hi-gloss on the same printer (R1800) but now there is no K7 inkset that I can buy. The R2400 which has 3 neutrals was unavailable in my country's Epson warehouse when I bought the R1800 and so I had to either wait or get the better color/luster print quality of the R1800 and purchase separate black and white inks for my mono printing. Now I have to get a separate mono printer. Great, thanks a lot. I guess it won't be Epson.
    Patents were invented to protect the investment of someone who puts significant money into product development so that they can cover the cost of making a manufacturing line. This isn't Epson trying to pay for the manufacturing line for the cartridges, it is Epson monopolizing ink and preventing consumer choice. I bet next they will add a magnetic strip to each Epson paper sheet so that the print driver can say "invalid paper. Please purchase genuine Epson paper".
    Anyway, that's my take on the subject. Your mileage may vary.
     
  21. Also, there are more papers available for Epson with support in the driver, and also many third party paper makers specifically target Epson.
     
  22. >>> So you need, according to Epson, one printer for high quality black and white, and another for color, and if you should
    want glossy black and white then you're just screwed.

    It would be more accurate if you said, "So I need, ..."

    >>> Possibly, but the average lifetime of an Epson printhead is about 1 year (I'm on my 6th photo Epson) anyway, so if you get
    a clog after that, you could have had a busted printer by that time anyway, using all Epson cartridges.

    Again, that comes off as a sweeping undisputed statement. It is not.


    >>> But since the ink formulations used by third parties are different from Epsons, Epson designed the cartridges so that they
    cannot be refilled and third parties (now) cannot make them. Artificially, to prevent customers from having choices in ink (not
    cartridges, I am happy with Epson's cartridge plastic thank you very much).

    Their business decision. You have choices; buy a different brand printer.

    >>> If Epson should sell empty cartridges that could be used to fill with 3rd party ink I would be happy to pay to Epson for the
    development of the cartridge and 3rd parties for the development of their ink.

    That would be dumb. Much better for Epson from a revenue standpoint to sell cartridges filled with ink.


    >>> The R2400 which has 3 neutrals was unavailable in my country's Epson warehouse when I bought the R1800 and so I had
    to either wait or get the better color/luster print quality of the R1800 and purchase separate black and white inks for my mono
    printing. Now I have to get a separate mono printer. Great, thanks a lot. I guess it won't be Epson.

    And I'm pretty steamed I have to buy a mini-van in addition to my two seat Lambo. Guess who I won't be buying that mini-van
    from...

    >>> Patents were invented to protect the investment of someone who puts significant money into product development so that
    they can cover the cost of making a manufacturing line.

    No. patents were developed to encourage the development of new inventions (it is not limited to costs of creating a
    manufacturing line). And to encourage disclosure of new inventions.

    >>> This isn't Epson trying to pay for the manufacturing line for the cartridges, it is Epson monopolizing ink and preventing
    consumer choice.

    By definition, a patent IS a temporary government=granted monopoly. That's the idea.
     
  23. Brad: patents were developed to encourage the development of new inventions (it is not limited to costs of creating a manufacturing line). And to encourage disclosure of new inventions.
    It doesn't seem like you know much about the history of the industrial revolution. I would read up.
    In this case Epson is using the patent to prevent innovation, not encourage it. And since they're not competing in the all-gray ink market, why do they think that preventing 3rd party manufacturers from filling this niche they actually gain something (financially or otherwise)? They should limit the restriction on inks for which there is an Epson equivalent. They could still sell the printers and color ink.
    Brad wrote: And I'm pretty steamed I have to buy a mini-van in addition to my two seat Lambo.
    That's an irrelevant analogy. The mini-van and the Lambo are physically different autos for different purposes. One Epson printer can act as a black and white or a color printer, when the inks are chose appropriately.
    That would be dumb. Much better for Epson from a revenue standpoint to sell cartridges filled with ink.
    Revenue, revenue, revenue. What about serving the consumers' needs? Oh, I guess you wouldn't have thought that was important.
    Again, that comes off as a sweeping undisputed statement. It is not.
    Huh? Like I said, I'm on my 6th Epson, and have had several inhead replacements in the warranty period, when it blows the second time it's not economical to fix it. Basically these are semi-disposable printers. If at one time I have to have two printers, that 1)consumes unnecessary floor space, 2) is econologically unsound, and 3) entirely unnecessary, if Epson weren't allowed to prevent others from innovating and making new inks.
     
  24. And yet, you're still using them......
     
  25. Printers are marketed to sell inkcartridges; just like razors(holders) are sold to sell razor blades.


    The vast majority of the profit in the sale of the printers lifetime is due to the consumables; NOT the printers cost.

    Many smaller printers are sold at cost; or below cost to get you on their consumable train. Thus the goal of a printer/razor maker is to get you excited about the new Mach IV printer/razor; and have you buy ONLY the Mach IV ink cartridges and Mach IV razor blades.

    Thus the goal of the razor/printer is to creat a unique patented gizmo that only uses their consumables; and make the product seem better than others; so you jump on the consumable train.

    King Camp Gillette did this with the safety razor; ie the Razor and blades business model over 100 years ago. The razor holder is an earlier example of a loss leader.





    With a circular "skil" saw; the most common size is a 7 1/2" diameter blade with a 5/8" ARBOR. Most folks buy the blades that have the most bang for the buck; and dont really care if the brand of the blade is different than the saw. There is not a unique monopoly on blade sales; since the diameter and arbor are long a standard.

    Only in weird diameter saws with weird arbors is their abit of "priceyness" due to the lack of sales and demand. Thus a 10 or 10 1/4" diameter circular saw blade with a diamond arbor knockout carries a higher price; since the number of bigfoot 10" worm drive beam saw users is small.

    With my ancient Hitachi 6 1/4" 160mm battery circular saw; the blades were once 30 bucks apiece; when you could buy them still. Today it has then smaller 5 1/2" 5/8 blade on it. A 6 1/2" blade is too big; it hits the saws guard. It this weird case Hitachi released a weird blade size; and it really had little following; thus the oddball size "died" off.

    Walk into a box store and ask for a 6 1/4" 5/8 blade and the experts will always correct you; since they are ignorant of oddball saw sizes. With a battery operated circular saw; the blades width is often narrow; and thus the blades are sometimes abit more price than a generic 7 1/4" 5/8 blade.





    Walk into an office box store and notice the zoo of inkcartridge types and toner cartridge types available. There is no standard generic cartridge that fits all machines.

    Walk into a home box or power tool store; notice how that each vendors cordless chargers and batteries are different. A home builder might have his old pack rebuilt by a RC control battery outfit; a casual user might just pay the shot for a new battery.

    Count the number of wall warts/chargers on has for cellphones and tools; there are a zillion different types.

    3rd part battery pack rebuilding is often the only way an ancient power tool can be still used. Since they packs are rebuilt in the USA and its a small business; there is UTC rulings; the power tool maker stopped selling the batteries.





    The temporary monopoly also gives the inventor a chance to recoup the investments he made during the development of his invention. He could for instance use the patent to monopolize the market, excluding possible competitors by enforcing his patent. He could then set a high price and make a nice profit. He could also request money from others in return for a license to practice the invention. The licensing income then provides extra income.Licensing a patent can be very lucrative business.



    The goal of HP, Kodak, Epson and other digital inkjet ink sellers if to get you to buy their ink. Its no secret that they dont want a cartridge to be refilled; or for the cartridge to "go generic". They purposely want a bastard hard to crack ink cartridge for their super MACH X printer they release for Christmas; the sales of they unique Mach X cartidges in 2008 and 2009 provide the sole profit that pays for the printers development. The new razor blade system that promises a better, closer shave has the same goals; and has a patented weird cartridge too.

    Maybe the goverment can dictate one standard wall wart, one standard shoe for women, one standard mp3 song for teens, one standard ink cartridge?:)
     
  26. Companies that infinge on the Epson patents can still sell the 3rd party cartridges; IF they settle with Epson with a fee paid per cartridge. <BR><BR>Its like some yoyo steals you cool photo/image; and you then settle and allow them to pay you with a fee thats reasonable per image printed. Its done all the time with patents, a even copyrights too. <BR><BR>With the Kodapak / Instamatic 126 camera system of 1963; Kodak licensed the cartridge and got a royality. With the 1965 Super-8 cine "instamatic type" cartridge; Kodak got a royalty per camera sold. In both cases the system had patented cartidges.<BR><BR> The 3rd party refillers who dont want to pay up are thus legally forced not to sell the illegal items in the USA.<BR><BR> From a consumer standpoint one wants goods to cost nothing with your gizmos made on mars with zero labor costs; the process going on until you own job is in danger. Then you want some legal controlls; since you want your job and your companies moat protected; its long investments in time and inventions not breached by illegal practices.<BR><BR>Its easy to want the other chaps investments ruined; it hits home abit once your own images are stolen; you own job lost; the value of your investments ruined by illegal practices.
     
  27. No matter how you look at it, this sucks for the consumer. I'm all for intellectual property protection, copyrights, and patents, but not to the extent where they effectively eliminate competition and choices for the consumer.

    FWIW, I received this from Jon Cone on the 12th:

    Dear Piezography Customer,

    ACTIONS BY EPSON DIRECTLY AFFECT YOUR PURCHASE OF DESKTOP PRODUCTS IN THE USA.

    In 2005, EPSON began a series of lawsuits against manufacturers of desktop cartridges that EPSON claimed infringed EPSON patents. EPSON won by jury or by default in several of these lawsuits and have been awarded broad patent rights. The end result of that is an ITC directive that is explained by EPSON here: http://itc.epson.com/index.html.

    On October 19, 2007 the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") issued a Final Determination that found 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. The ITC also ordered a bond of $13.60 per imported cartridge for imports during the 60 day Presidential Review period.

    Necessarily, we have stopped importing desktop cartridges and we have only a small remaining inventory for our desktop users in the USA, which we are closing out at half-price to rid our existing inventories. You can look at our close out inventory by clicking here. Desktop users outside the USA can continue to buy our cartridges as the ITC ruling only affects the USA.

    We can only make the suggestion to our desktop users that they immediately investigate refilling their carts, using bulk ink delivery systems and bottles, or upgrading to a medium or large format printer. To hoard remaining supplies is not an option that will allow you to use our products in the long-term, and you really need to act now in order to insure that you have a method of dispensing our inks into your printers. There are many sources for refilling supplies and instructions, as well as chip resetters, and bulk ink systems.

    If you are a large format user, EPSON has made it clear that they intend to prove that third-party cartridges infringe their large format cart patents in current litigation. There is no way to know the success of this until the outcome that may be 12 months away or shorter or longer. We can only make the suggestion to you to invest in lifetime refill carts.


    A CALL TO ACTION.

    This is of course alarming news for customers of any third party ink cartridges. We have been in touch with our Congressman and Senators, who are trying to intercede on our behalf with the President of the USA before he signs this into law. We have learned from our Congressman that President Bush has given that authority over to his International Trade Representative, Susan Schwab.

    The ITC's Final Determination will enter into effect unless there are "compelling policy reasons for disapproval," which will be determined by United States Trade Representative Susan Schwab in the coming days:

    Susan Schwab
    Office of the United States Trade Representative
    600 17th Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20508
    United States of America

    The phone number for the trade office is 202-395-3063

    Please reference International Trade Commission matter 337-TA-565

    We would ask you to call or write to US Trade Representative Susan Schwab. Let her know how you would be affected if she allows the ITC's determination to go forward. For example, there are not any non-infringing cartridges available to us because of the broad patents and the way that EPSON has designed their printers. If you are not able to purchase cartridges and you are affected, you should communicate how this affects you. If you do not have an alternative, and your livelihood is affected, these are important issues to mention. In the entire history of the ITC, only five rulings have not been approved. We want to believe that this will be the sixth. But it needs your help. We have done all that we can at this point. Please do not misunderstand that we think patents are unimportant or should not be protected. Rather, we side with current European Union thought that is modeled after the US Sherman Anti-Trust Act, that a product should not be given a monopoly if patents are created to prevent competition. While anti-trust and environmental law is strengthening in the EU, it is being terribly eroded in the USA. The USA does not have "free-trade" and that is often surprising to Europeans who remember that we invented that notion.


    DESKTOP USERS ARE IMMEDIATELY AFFECTED: CONSIDER BUYING A BULK INKS KIT NOW.

    Prior to Dec 19, you may be able to do things that will allow for you to continue your relationship with Piezography products for the desktop printers. This ruling only affects desktop cartridges and we only supply desktop cartridges for the following EPSON printers: 1160, 1200, 1280, R200 family, R800/R1800, 2100/2200, 2400.

    You can move from desktop cartridges for your printer to a bulk ink system that allows you to feed it from bottled ink. Act soon, as it is believed that all exporters have ceased their shipments into the USA awaiting outcome of the Presidential Review. You can find these by clicking here. We will be adding more large format refill carts as they become available and eliminating desktop systems as inventories become depleted. The reason is that we will always sell at least bottled inks into the USA. Once you have a CIS system, you can purchase a starter system of inks with a discount of 15%. The coupon code is [ PIEZO ] and the savings is 15% for Piezography K6/7 bottles by clicking here and PiezoTone bottles which you can find here. You enter this code into the shopping cart during the checkout procedure. This 15% off code is good until Dec. 19.


    EPSON HAS THEIR SIGHTS ON LARGE FORMAT CARTS.

    EPSON is now in court with large format cartridge manufacturers. We have a refill cartridge system for the 4800, 7800, 9800, 3000, 7000, 7500 and Roland printers. We will soon have one for your 4000, 7600, 9000, 9500 and 9600 printers. You can expect Epson to attempt to shut out third party large format cartridges in the near future, and you do have time. But you can also begin saving your ink costs by buying in bulk and helping the environment by not throwing away carts. We have lifetime refill cartridges for Ultrachrome K3 printers including new ConeColor replacement color inks. You can use these refill carts for Piezography inks in your K3 printer. Those are available by clicking here.


    USERS OUTSIDE THE USA: HOW ARE YOU AFFECTED?

    These actions by EPSON only affect cartridges coming into the USA. It does not affect our ability to sell outside the USA. We have a growing network of dealers outside the USA. We also have cartridge fulfillment facilities outside the USA so we do not need to import cartridges in order to fill them for EU and other countries. However, we will not be able to sell desktop cartridges even to our non-USA customers. Desktop cartridges are being closed-out.

    WHAT'S NEXT AMERICA?

    Perhaps, those that were using third-party solutions will become the nexus for change in the USA in terms of the environment. It?s alarming to find out that InfoTrends just published data that 80% of all new cartridges sold in the USA go into landfill. It is apparent how few EPSON carts are being recycled because of the difficulty in recycling EPSON manufactured carts. The third-party cartridges which were being sold for EPSON printers, and are now eliminated, were refill friendly cartridges. 10% of the oil being imported into the USA comes in the form of the plastic used in the US$32Billion dollar market of inkjet and laser cartridges. All that plastic is piling up in our landscape, and will take up to 1,000 years to bio-degrade. Please consider bulk ink delivery products as soon as possible. There is information directly on our website. You will be helping yourself and the ecology which you live with.

    We will keep you posted.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Jon Cone
    Vermont PhotoInkjet
     
  28. >>> " ... EPSON won by jury or by default in several of these lawsuits and have been
    awarded broad patent rights. ... On October 19, 2007 the U.S. International Trade
    Commission ("ITC") issued a Final Determination that found that all of the more than 750
    accused cartridges for EPSON inkjet printers infringe one or more of eleven EPSON patents.
    ..."

    Jury decisions, case defaults, and ITC rulings. The system works, time to move on...
     
  29. "Jury decisions, case defaults, and ITC rulings. The system works, time to move on..."

    I guess the question becomes to move on where, Brad? Affordable and/or practicable printing with Epson printers has suddenly become problematic. OK, for color prints, buy Epson cartridges, as the ruling mandates for us in the US. Any suggestions for a reasonable B&W solution?
     
  30. >>> OK, for color prints, buy Epson cartridges, as the ruling mandates for us in the US.
    Any suggestions for a reasonable B&W solution?

    Also Epson cartridges. I get superb results with those on my 4800 printer - more than 95%
    of what I print is B&W.
     
  31. The best thing a person could want is to have a secure government job not associated with an real world manufacturing costs, patents, layoffs etc. Then one could vote to all patents and copyrights revoked; and enjoy cheaper goods as a consumer. One could just cut the controls enough so the system fails as one dies; and then let private companies go bankrupt. It alarming to see folks being anti patent; and wanting to destroy manufacturing. It shows basic selfishness; a lack of concern for manufacturing and product development; and folks jobs they work hard at. The third party vendors CAN play ball if they want to pay up for their illegal goods; goods barred from being imported by the law. Part of having a patent is fighting off the folks who are cheaters; this has a cost too; passed on to you the consumer.
     
  32. Thank you for the suggestion, Brad. I wasn't too happy with the R1800 B&W output until I started using the Piezography inks. I will evaluate the 4800.

    ****

    Kelly, I infer from your post that you believe the patent system works well, and those who suggest making changes to strike a different balance between consumer interests (i.e., choices) and patent and intellectual property owners will somehow destroy free enterprise. Innovation never arises from a monopoly. Patents were originally devised to provide stimulus for innovation, but when the pendulum swings too far the other way by allowing patent holders to squash competition, we all lose out.

    In my experience with intellectual property issues and new technology development, the system in the US is seriously broken, particularly since the USPTO was re-vamped some years back. The debate rages on, but suffice to say it's the kind of system that can allow rampant abuses. Gary Reback wrote an interesting -- and alarming -- editorial in Forbes several years ago (http://www.forbes.com/asap/2002/0624/044.html) that describes the situation very well with an example of IBM versus Sun Microsystems.

    Here's a hypothetical: Just imagine what life could be like if a printer/ink/paper manufacturer, in an attempt to force us all to use their papers exclusively, sued the other paper vendors by claiming the paper feed mechanism was patented, and the other papers infringed on the patent by being compatible with it. In today's patent environment, it's not much of a stretch.
     
  33. >>> I will evaluate the 4800.

    Today, i would consider the less costly 3800 (unless roll paper feed is required) - same ink
    and Advanced B&W mode (ABW). And there's also the 2400 - at a narrower max print width
    and higher ink cost with the smaller carts. Same ink...
     
  34. I'm an ink dealer, www.jascoink.com. Refill kits for Epson OEM's will be hitting the market heavily as the ITC ruling begins to hurt the pockets of ink cartridge distributors in the US. Epson cartridges have been refillable for quite some time, there has just been more profit and convenience for the consumer to use Chinese made "refillables".

    I think that everyone that prints photos whether for personal hobby or profession, should take a good hard look at the HP Designjet line up. I have a 130 and use a CIS System. However, the OEM carts are easily refillable and hold an ounce to two ounces of ink each!

    That's my two cents.
     

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