By Eric Schweibenz
On June 28, 2010, Canon Inc., Canon U.S.A., Inc. and Canon Virginia, Inc. (collectively, “Canon”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

Canon alleges infringement of certain claims of two of its U.S. patents, 5,903,803 and 6,128,454 which both relate to a projection on photosensitive toner cartridge drums that allow users, rather than technicians, to remove and replace the drum.  In the complaint, Canon separates the Respondents into two categories. The first group is the so-called “Ninestar Respondents” (Ninestar Image-China, Ninestar Tech-China, Ninestar Mgt., Zhuhai Seine, Seine Image, Ninestar Image-Hong Kong, Ziprint, Nano Pacific, Ninestar-LA and Town Sky) which, according to Canon, are all under common ownership and control.  The Ninestar Group is alleged to infringe by manufacturing toner cartridges and importing them into the United States.  The second group – the “Retailer Respondents” (ACM Technologies, Inc., LD Products, Inc., Printer Essentials.com, Inc., XSE Group, Inc. d/b/a Image Star, Copy Technologies, Inc. d/b/a ITM Corporation, Red Powers, Inc. d/b/a LaptopTraveller.com, Direct Billing International, Inc. d/b/a OfficeSupplyOutfitters.com, Compu-Imaging, Inc., EIS Office Solutions, Inc., and 123 Refills, Inc.) – allegedly infringe through sales of the toner cartridges manufactured by the Ninestar Respondents.

According to the complaint, Canon satisfies the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement in view of (1) Canon Virginia’s manufacture of millions of toner cartridges each year which are covered by the patents-in-suit, (2) employment of a significant number of employees in the United States, (3) Canon Virginia’s product and manufacturing engineering activities, and (4) Canon Virginia’s plans to manufacture additional toner cartridges covered by the patents-in-suit.  Further, the technical prong is satisfied because Canon Virginia produces, or will produce, toner cartridges covered by at least one claim of each of the patents-in-suit.

Regarding related litigation, Canon asserts that it simultaneously filed a district court action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  With respect to potential remedy, Canon seeks a permanent limited exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed to the proposed respondents.