Canon Inc. announced today the issuance of a General Exclusion Order (“GEO”) by the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) in Investigation No. 337-TA-829, pertaining to certain toner cartridges and their photosensitive drums sold for use in Canon and Hewlett Packard laser beam printers. The GEO prohibits from entry into the U.S. toner cartridges and their components that infringe certain specified claims of Canon’s U.S. Patent Nos. 5,903,803 and 6,128,454 for the lives of those patents, irrespective of the source of the products. The specified claims include both claims directed to toner cartridges and claims directed to photosensitive drums. The ITC also issued cease and desist orders against many of the Respondents named in the Investigation, prohibiting the sale of infringing toner cartridges and their components that have already been imported into the U.S.
The ITC issues a GEO in situations where it determines that a GEO is necessary to prevent circumvention of an exclusion order limited to products of named persons and/or because there is a pattern of infringing conduct and it is difficult to identify the source of the infringing products.
Canon filed the complaint that led to the subject Investigation on January 23, 2012, naming 34 Respondents, including manufacturers, importers and distributors of toner cartridges and photosensitive drums. On February 28, 2013, the Administrative Law Judge presiding over the Investigation determined that Canon had proven violations of its patent rights, and the ITC adopted those findings on April 17, 2013. The issuance of the GEO marks a successful conclusion of the Investigation for Canon.
“Canon is pleased that the ITC has granted this GEO, and believes that it will go a long way in preventing the widespread infringement that we have seen,” said Seymour Liebman, senior executive officer, Canon Inc., and executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Canon expects the industry to respect the GEO, and expects everyone to cease any importations of infringing products.”