Fujifilm wins ink patent battle

Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems (FSIS) has won a legal suit filed in a Regional Court in Düsseldorf, Germany, against Nazdar and its German distributor Zaro over infringement of patents relating to some of its UV inks.

Fujifilm makes these UVijet inkjet inks.

In this lawsuit, which was filed in 2017, FSIS claimed Nazdar had infringed its UV ink patents EP 1 803 784 B3 and EP 2 383 314 B3 in Germany by offering its 702 & 703 Series UV inkjet inks and declaring them to be chemically compatible with the original inks designed for Fujifilm’s Acuity range of wide format flatbed UV printers. The patents on these inks protect specific inkjet ink compositions providing a range of properties including improved flexibility, jetting performance and adhesion. 

Nazdar reacted by filing nullity actions against the patents in Germany before the German Federal Patents Court and asked the Regional Court Düsseldorf to stay the infringement proceedings, as well as contesting the infringement.

The Regional Court in Düsseldorf has now upheld FSIS’s claim that its patents were infringed and issued an injunction to Nazdar and Zaro against selling the patent-infringing UV inkjet inks. It has also ordered them to pay damages. 

According to FSIS, Nazdar did redesign its inks but continued to market its UV inkjet inks as 702 & 703 Series without indicating these changes to customers. The court has agreed with FSIS’s position that the change in chemical composition is not enough to avoid infringement because Nazdar continues to market its UV inkjets inks as 702 & 703 Series without sufficient indication of the product change. The Regional Court in Düsseldorf also disagreed with Nazdar’s invalidity arguments and therefore also rejected the stay motion.

Rob Fassam, R&D director at FSIS, commented: “This sends a clear message to anyone thinking of infringing our intellectual property. We will continue to protect our investment by filing patents that cover our technology and we will take appropriate action against those who infringe.”

However, this may not be the end of this matter as Nazdar and Zaro have filed appeals. For now, the judgements remain provisionally enforceable under the condition that FSIS provides sufficient enforcement security. The appeal will be heard on 7th November 2019 but the date for the hearing in the nullity proceedings has not yet been set.

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