HP has lost a long-running court battle with a Dutch manufacturer of third-party print supplies.
The vendor had claimed that supplier 123inkt.nl infringed patents related to memory chips found in print cartridges.
According to a post on 123inkt.nl's website, HP accused the Dutch firm of producing cartridges that had too many similarities to the vendor's own, in 2014.
123inkt.nl said it believed HP's patents were invalid and designed to obtain a monopoly on the print supplies market, which the court found.
This latest ruling in favour of the Dutch business at the Supreme Court of the Netherlands is the third time it has won against HP, following decisions in the Court of The Hague and the Court of Appeal of The Hague in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
Court documents show that HP must pay 123inkt.nl's legal fees, which it estimates to be €67,000 (£58,000).
Gerben Kreuning, director of 123inkt.nl, said (translated from Dutch): "I am happy with this Supreme Court ruling, [which shows] that it is definitively clear that what we are doing is allowed.
"We were fortunate not to be put off by HP's show of power. When I'm wrong, I admit that without any trouble, but when I'm not wrong and power games are being played, I think ‘come on, I'm not afraid of you!'. [One can] see the beautiful result here."
123inkt.nl says this third ruling means it is "definitely clear" that it can continue trading the independent cartridges in question.
The Dutch business provides a range of cartridges compatible with printer manufacturers including Brother, Canon and Epson.
It appears to sell official cartridges from vendors, but in some cases it displays a message on its website stating: "We advise you to take the 123 ink private label instead of this cartridge."
In a statement sent to CRN, HP said: "We disagree with the court's ruling.
"HP has successfully enforced the same European patent in other countries and is studying this ruling to understand the basis for their decision, particularly given the court's finding that our patent is valid.
"HP makes a tremendous investment in developing innovative products for our customers and we will continue to actively protect our intellectual property rights in the Netherlands and abroad."
Speaking to CRN at its partner event in Houston, HP's EMEA print boss David Ryan stressed that some third-party cartridges, while cheaper, can be less cost effective than HP's own and potentially carry environmental risks.
HP and 123inkt.nl have clashed publicly in the past, with the Dutch firm accusing the vendor of saborage in 2016.
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