HP Sues Datel For $30M Over Printer Trade Secrets Theft

The following appears on Law360.com

Law360, Los Angeles (June 24, 2014, 7:12 PM ET) — Hewlett-Packard Co. launched a $30 million trade secrets suit Monday in California federal court, accusing Datel Holdings Ltd. of misappropriating HP’s master key codes in its printers and selling ink cartridges compatible with HP printers, which are only supposed to authenticate HP ink cartridges. 
HP claims Datel, whose subsidiaries design and develop microchips for use in printer cartridges — and make “cheat” products that video game players can use to beat games more easily — cracked the security used on its ink cartridge microchips.

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Datel also allegedly shared the chips’ design and configuration with other companies that make and sell printer cartridge chips, including chips for inclusion in clones of HP 930 and 950 printer ink cartridges.

An HP spokesman told Law360 on Tuesday that the company “invests billions of dollars in developing innovative products for our customers and is committed to pursuing legal enforcement to protect our brands and intellectual property, the technological innovations behind them and the value we deliver to our customers and shareholders.”

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