The latest Lawsuit, against a company called Weston Tees, is Epson’s second in recent months focused on intellectual property infringement and fair competition in the LFP market. Ripped-off and refilled Epson ink cartridges abound on e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba, eBay and Amazon.
Epson has announced that Epson America, Inc., Epson Portland Inc. and Seiko Epson Corp. filed a patent infringement complaint on Oct. 18, 2023 against Weston Tees, LLC, doing business as 'Texas Tees' and its principals, Weston Griffin and Devon Walden. The complaint alleges infringement of claims from United States Patent No. 8,794,749 and United States Patent No. 8,454,116. These patents include claims that were adjudicated in well-publicized actions filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”), resulting in a General Exclusion Order barring the importation of all newly-built and remanufactured cartridges, circuit boards and components, that infringe the claims.
This lawsuit underscores Epson’s continuing enforcement efforts, including against infringing sellers of large format printer cartridges and third-party infringing circuit boards. Epson’s concerted campaign is focused on protecting Epson’s intellectual property and ensuring that legitimate resellers can compete fairly for sales of supplies for Epson printers.
“We are encouraged that Epson’s enforcement programs have resulted in increased compliance in both the consumer and commercial markets and have significantly altered the landscape for infringing cartridge sales,” says Jilana Miller, assistant general counsel, Epson America. “However, we continue to address the persistent culture of infringement and unfair competition perpetrated through online sales and other commercial channels. These recent complaints demonstrate Epson’s continued commitment to addressing infringement in the commercial and consumer markets, and the problem of components of cartridges which themselves infringe intellectual property rights and impact fair competition.”
Defending IP rights
Epson has a long history of vigorous legal action to protect the company, consumers and legitimate resellers from unfair competition. This lawsuit supplements Epson’s earlier enforcement efforts by seeking permanent injunctions against further infringements, as well as monetary damages for sales of patent-infringing cartridges, circuit boards, and components.
Epson’s enforcement program includes a broad range of efforts to address patent and trademark infringement throughout the distribution and sales channels, from obtaining General Exclusion Orders in the ITC, to raids and seizures of counterfeit product and regular enforcement through online marketplaces such as Alibaba, Amazon and eBay.