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Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 18:58:24 -0500

It's been just over a year since HP got caught using dirty tricks to force its customers to use its official, high-priced ink, and now it's Epson's turn to get in on the act.

Epson claims that ink-cartridges that are compatible with its printers violate a nonspecific patent or patents in nonspecific ways, and on the strength of those vague assertions, they have convinced eBay to remove many third-party ink sellers' products, without any scrutiny by eBay.

That's because Epson is part of eBay's VeRO program, through which trusted vendors can have listings removed without anyone checking to see whether they have a valid claim, contrary to eBay's normal procedure. As the company has said in another context, "eBay believes that removing listings based on allegations of infringement would be unfair to buyers and the accused sellers."


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