Epson hits another ink cartridge maker

The UK's Environmental Business Products will stop selling Epson-compatible ink cartridges after being sued by Epson.

For the second time in a week a manufacturer of Epson-compatible ink cartridges is taking its products off the market as a result of legal action by Seiko Epson, the Japanese company said Friday.

Environmental Business Products has stopped importing and supplying Epson-compatible printer cartridges as a result of an out of court settlement between the two companies, Epson said in a statement. Epson had brought proceedings against the London company in the U.K. High Court for infringement of a number of patents and registered designs owned by Epson, the statement said.

The company and others like it offer ink cartridges or refills that can be used in Epson printers and are typically cheaper than those from Epson. For printer makers the sale of replacement ink is a major source of profit.

The action couldn't immediately be confirmed with the U.K. company, which has operations in the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain. The Epson statement included a quote from Environmental Business Products' managing director, saying sales of Epson-compatible cartridges were stopped because the company isn't confident its products would be found not to infringe on Epson's patents.

In addition to the halt in sales, Environmental Business Products will also have to pay legal costs and "a substantial payment" for damages, Epson said. The amounts involved were not disclosed.

Earlier last week Epson reached a settlement with Hong Kong-based Multi-Union Trading Co. Ltd. as part of a patent infringement lawsuit brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland. That will see 75 of Multi-Union's cartridge models barred from being imported and sold in the U.S., Epson said. The cartridges are sold under the PrintRite brand and other names.

Epson is also pursuing a number of other companies, said Alastair Bourne, a spokesman for the Suwa-based company. They include Armor, a third-party cartridge maker in Nantes, France, which is being sued in the same Portland court as Multi-Union. The spokesman wouldn't name any other companies.

The recent string of court actions and resolutions doesn't point to a crackdown but comes as a result of Epson deciding to publicize the legal actions it takes, Bourne said.

"It's important to send a message out that we are serious about defending our intellectual property and also protecting fair competition," he said. "We believe in respecting other people's intellectual property and we expect other people to respect ours and so we'd like to send that message."

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?