New ‘Patent Troll’ Midwest Athletics Files Lawsuits Against Xerox and Ricoh

A new “patent troll” (typically defined as a non-practicing patent holder) has emerged, the Midwest Athletics and Sports Alliance, which has filed patent-infringement lawsuits against Ricoh and Xerox.

Midwest Athletics and Sports Alliance (MASA) is based in Omaha, Nebraska, is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), and says it “provides services, funding, and equipment for youth sports organizations to help those organizations that inspire youths in a positive way.” It says it provides “financial support to established and upcoming groups who are working to make our youth athletes better people,” and acquires “quality equipment so kids can safely participate in sports and activities.”

MASA filed its patent-infringement lawsuit against Xerox in the U,S, District Court for the District of Nebraska last month, accusing Xerox of infringing upon some 20 patents related to printing and scanning “through the sale of a range of printers, including its WorkCentre, VersaLink, Phaser, iGen, Brenva, ColourQube and Colour brands” as well as through software sales.

The lawsuit alleges that: “As a result of defendant’s unlawful activities, MASA has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law,” and is seeking “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, damages, and a jury trial.”

On January 5, 2018, MASA also filed a lawsuit against Ricoh USA in the Nebraska District Court, also alleging patent infringement, and is seeking a jury trial.

According to court papers obtained by The Recycler, MASA alleges that Ricoh’s Aficio MP printers (such as the MP4002/4002SP/5002/5002SP, Ricoh MP 2555/3055/3555/4055/5055/6055 and C2030, C2050,C2530, C2550) use various  MASA Patents.

The Recycler also states that MASA also alleges “that various models of the Aficio SP printers (e.g., Ricoh Aficio SP C830DN, C831DN) use one or more of the MASA Patents, as well as Ricoh’s Pro printers (e.g., Ricoh Pro C7100/C7100x/C7110/C7110x), Ricoh’s TotalFlow® suite of software programs (e.g., TotalFlow Prep, TotalFlow Production Manager, and TotalFlow Print Server) (collectively “TotalFlow”), Ricoh’s ProcessDirector and Ricoh’s Ricoh Preventative Maintenance (PM) and Trained Customer Replacement Units (TCRU).”

The patents MASA is accusing Xerox of infringing upon are as follows:

6,203,005 – Feeder apparatus for documents and the like
6,305,684 – Feed rollers with reversing clutch
6,411,314 – System and method for representing and controlling a production printing workflow
6,462,756 – System and method for visual representation of pages in a production printing workflow
6,509,974 – Automated job creation for job preparation
6,718,285 – Operator replaceable component life tracking system
6,724,998 – Image forming apparatus with variable toning bias offset service utility
6,799,005 – Method and system of pre-selecting ordered media in a printing system
6,909,856 – Functionality switching for MICR printing
6,993,278 – Fixing device transport for a digital printer or copier machine
7,502,582 – Method and apparatus for printing using a tandem electrostatographic printer
7,658,375 – Printer and dual trays for image receiver media sheets
7,720,425 – Method and apparatus for printing using a tandem electrostatographic printer
8,005,415 – Method and apparatus for printing using a tandem electrostatographic printer
8,019,255 – Alignment method for a plurality of coupled digital print engines
8,220,795 – Printer and dual trays for image receiver media sheets
8,554,089 – Job error correction in a multicolor electrophotographic print engine
8,591,022 – Printing apparatus with pivotable duplexing unit
8,634,113 – Recording media path in a multifunction printer
8,805,239 – Actuation device for pressure rollers
7,758,375 – Balanced transmission cable connector

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