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Japan cartridge case won't affect UK

Organisations believe that the case in Japan involving recycled ink cartridges will have a limited effect on the UK industry.

Canon took out a High Court injunction, preventing Tokyo-based Recycling Assist from re-using its empty cartridges. But organisations are positive about the implications for a practice that keeps millions of cartridges out of UK landfills.

Redeem chief executive Jamie Rae said: “The outcome of the Canon case in Japan will undoubtedly have some impact on dealers and suppliers, particularly those who have been reliant on imported stock. However, we would anticipate that this ruling may have a positive rather than negative impact on Redeem, raising demand for a source of quality empty cartridges.”

Another charity organisation, Actionaid Recycling, believes that due to the strength of the United Kingdom Re-manufacturers Association (UKRA), the case in Japan will have no bearing at all on the UK market.

Actionaid Recycling managing director Geoff Perriman said: “The recent ruling only applies to Japan and won’t affect the UK which has a strong industry trade association in UKCRA.

“Actionaid Recycling and UKCRA will continue to promote the use of high quality re-manufactured printer cartridges in the UK. Any threats to the re-manufacturing industry could possibly lead to an increase in the number of cartridges that end up in landfill sites, damage to UK jobs within the industry and a loss of revenue for charities.”

The European Toner and Inkjet Re-manufacturers Association (ETIRA) however, believe the case- to stop third parties refilling used cartridges, has no foundation at all.

ETIRA secretary general Vincent van Dijk said: “ETIRA rejects the findings of the High Court in the Canon/Recycle Assist case. There is a general tendency to stretch the meaning of patents beyond what they are intended for: to protect the invention of a technical novelty.

“A mere repair operation like refilling/re-manufacturing can hardly be covered under a patent. Next thing we know, they will patent the way we place the printer on our desk.”

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