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Intellectual Ventures sues Canon, Ricoh over printer tech

Intellectual Ventures sues two more tech makers for allegedly infringing on patents. This time it's imaging bigs Canon and Ricoh.

Patent art

Intellectual Ventures, the controversial patent and technology firm founded by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, has sued Canon and Ricoh over printer technology.

In a pair of complaints, filed in the U.S. District Court of Delaware yesterday, Intellectual Ventures accused Canon of infringing on nine of its patents, and Ricoh of seven patents -- both in various printing products.

According to IV, the company approached both companies to negotiate licensing deals, but was unsuccessful.

"When sophisticated companies turn a blind eye to infringement, we are forced to take action to safeguard the value of our patents and to protect the interests of our investors and customers," Intellectual Ventures' chief litigation counsel Melissa Finocchio said in a post announcing the complaints. "Infringers need to pay for the inventions they are using."

Canon and Ricoh did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuits.

The complaint is IV's second against Canon, and the first against Ricoh. The company took aim at Canon over a similarly wide group of imaging patents in 2011.

This new pair of complaints is the latest in a series of lawsuits against some big names in technology in recent weeks. Last week IV took aim at Toshiba over semiconductor technology, and just days before that it sued Symantec for the second timeover patents related to security technology. Earlier this year it also filed complaints against AT&T and other DSL providers.

For more on IV and its business model, read CNET's "Inside Intellectual Ventures, the most hated company in tech"