Epson UK are a printer manufacturer and supplier of ink cartridges. They are of particular interest to ORG because of a patent claim that they are using to remove listings at eBay within Europe.
Epson was granted a patent  for their ink cartridges on 15 July 2008. The patent relates to a printing material container containing a printing material and a board mounted on the printing material container. The patent also covers an arrangement of alignment points on the container.
The claims of the patent require three types of contact portions. The objective of the patents is to provide one or more short circuit detection terminals/contact portions which can be used by the printer to detect short circuits between these terminals/contact portions and the higher voltage terminals. This system can prevent damage to the cartridges.
Epson believes that third party/compatible cartridges infringe this patent if they are to provide cartridges which would work with their printers. In order for cartridges to operate successfully, they need to have terminal arrangements which correspond with the printer's terminal arrangements.
Based on their, seemingly, random analysis of compatible cartridges sold on EBay in 2017, they have assessed that these compatibles infringe their patent and compelled EBay to remove corresponding listings.
Compatible cartridges affected
These are the compatible cartridges known to us to be affected by Epson's claim:
T16 XL; T18 XL; T24 XL; T26 XL; T27 XL; T29 XL; T33 XL plus T0715 XL; T0797 XL; T0807 XL.
These cartridges are used across the range of Epson printers including: Workforce, Expression Home, Expression Photo, Expression Premium, and Epson Stylus.
Known resellers affected by these takedowns include:
- The Ink Squid
- The Inkers (sellers on EBay)