PcRUSH.com Terminated From ITC Investigation; Is VIP Next?
On June 19, 2012, Atman Inc. DBA pcRUSH.com was terminated from the ITC investigation. This is the first respondent in a list of more than 30 companies who has been terminated from the ITC investigation.
Atman/pcRUSH.com was the first respondent to agree to a consent order in the Canon complaint. It admitted that Canon’s patents are valid and enforceable and agreed not to “import into the United States, sell for importation into the United State, or sell or offer for sale in the United States after importation, or knowingly aid, abet, encourage, participate in, or induce the importation into the United States, the sale for importation into the United States, or the sale, offer for sale, or use in the United States after importation, the accused products or any other toner cartridge or photosensitive drum having a projection that is substantially the same as the projection in any of the accused products, except under consent or license from Canon, its successors, or assignees.”
The termination comes after a revised consent order was submitted to the ITC’s investigative staff. The original consent order said, “… any other toner cartridge or photosensitive drum … .” The consent order was revised to “any infringing toner cartridge or photosensitive drum.” After this revision was submitted, the judge determined that Atman/pcRUSH.com should be terminated based on the revised consent order.
According to Actionable Intelligence, so far three companies have asked the ITC to terminate them as respondents in Canon’s complaint, however, Atman/pcRUSH.com is the only one who has been terminated thus far, which begs the question, “Why was Canon willing to support terminating Atman/pcRUSH.com from the ITC investigation?” Actionable Intelligence offered its analysis on the matter saying, “One possibility is that while many of the other respondents focus on manufacturing or reselling supplies, including third-part toner cartridges, Atman/pcRUSH.com is also a channel for Canon hardware such as cameras, printers, MFPs, projectors, scanners, and other products. The firm’s relationship with Canon as a reseller of other goods may have gotten it preferential treatment in Canon’s willingness to terminate it from the ITC complaint.”
On June 26, Canon announced the resolution of a patent infringement lawsuit with Virtual Imaging Products Inc. The resolution, reached in the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, concerns certain toner cartridges and their photosensitive drums sold for use in Canon copier and multifunction products (MFPs).
As a result of the resolution, Virtual Imaging Products Inc. has stipulated to a consent order from the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which will prohibit Virtual Imaging Products Inc. from making, using, selling and offering for sale in the U.S., and from importing into the U.S., these toner cartridges and their photosensitive drums.
“It is unclear what, precisely, VIP offered Canon that enabled the two parties to come to terms. It may be that VIP offered a compelling financial settlement, but it is also possible that in addition to looking for specific terms in a consent order and injunction, Canon was seeking VIP’s willingness to provide evidence in the ITC complaint,” Actionable Intelligence speculated. “Canon seems very determined to do what Epson, HP, and Lexmark have done before it and win a general exclusion order to protect its cartridge business in the United States.”
If a terminating order comes from the judge, VIP will be the second respondent terminated from the investigation.
Read Actionable Intelligence’s full analysis here and here.