Patent Japan

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

From Archives - Grand Panel Case of IP High Court, “Ink Cartridge Case” (1)

On January 31, 2006, the IP High Court made another Grand Panel decision.

1. Facts
Canon is the patentee of liquid container and its manufacturing process, in which claim 1 is addressed to liquid container and claim 10 is to its manufacturing process. Canon also manufactures and sells the ink tanks corresponding to this patent.
Recycle Assist is engaged in importing and selling the ink tanks, which are originally Canon's products and refilled with ink after an initial use.
Canon brought this action to the Tokyo District Court based on claims 1 and 10 to seek injunction of importing and selling them by Recycle Assist.
The District Court rejected all the Canon's arguments, and Canon appealed the case to the IP High Court.

2. Issues
(1) Whether Canon should be allowed to enforce claim 1 (product claim) against Recycle Assist's ink tanks which are manufactured by refilling with ink of Canon's products sold in Japan,
(2) whether Canon should be allowed to enforce claim 10 (process claim) against Recycle Assist's ink tanks which are manufactured by refilling with ink of Canon's products sold in Japan,
(3) whether Canon should be allowed to enforce the claims against Recycle Assist's ink tanks which are manufactured by refilling with ink of Canon's products sold overseas.

3. Decisions of the Court
The IP High Court accepted all the Canon's arguments, and reversed the decision of the District Court. The reasons are as follows.

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