Datacard Group commenced legal proceedings against Eagle Technologies Ltd in November 2009, claiming its patent (Radio Frequency Identification Tags on Consumable Items Used in Printers and Related Equipment) was being infringed by Eagle’s High Performance compatible ribbons – ‘Plus-Ribbon’.
A second claim was also brought by Datacard Group in January 2010 claiming its ‘error loading’ patent (Supply items for printers and the like, and method of loading supply items) was also being infringed by Eagle Technologies’ Plus-Ribbon product.
Eagle partnered with London based law firm, CMS Cameron McKenna (CMS) in a bid to overturn both patents on the basis that neither patent is novel or inventive and were obvious to the skilled person.
On Monday 14th February 2011 an English high court ruled that 2 patents owned by Datacard Group are invalid.
Chris Rayner, Eagle’s Managing Director and founder commented. “Eagle’s legal fees peaked at £1.2million and thanks to our loyal staff, clients, many of our suppliers and CMS our lawyers, we are proud that justice has been served.”
Chris Rayner added “The original patent applications date back to 2002/03 and were recently made broad and approved in 2009 just a few months after Eagle Technologies Ltd launched its intelligent RFID compatible range of ID ribbons. Given their obviousness, it is therefore my personal opinion that these patent applications served only to lock out the predictable rise of compatible ID ribbons by placing threat over the market. Now free, resellers and consumers alike can fully appreciate and safely benefit from Plus-Ribbon quality, but at considerably lower prices when compared to original ribbons.”
The judgment can be read in full at: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2011/244.html
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