Fewer Epson-compatible ink cartridges from third-party manufacturers will be available, because the printer vendor has convinced a number of manufacturers and importers to stop producing and marketing them. Last February, Epson filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission against 24 companies that manufacture, import, or distribute after-market ink cartridges for sale in the U.S. The complaint sought to ban the companies from importing or selling the cartridges in the U.S. At the same time Epson filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Portland against the same companies seeking damages for the alleged intellectual property infringement.
Of the 24 companies, five have agreed to settle with Epson at both the ITC and district court. A further three companies have agreed with the ITC to stop importing cartridges, but will have their cases heard at the district court. Another eight companies have had default judgments filed against them at the ITC because they failed to respond to the complaint with the time allowed, said Epson. Trials against the remaining companies at the ITC will begin in January.