Markem sues over ink patents

Markem Corporation is suing Sun Chemical for stealing its patented “Hot Melt Ink” technology.

Hot Melt Ink, also known as dry ink, is solid at room temperature, melts when printed and then dries on contact with paper. The Keene-based company boasts that the ink is less likely to bleed on paper, leak onto someone’s hands and emit hazardous solvents.

Markem filed two patents on its hot inks, the first in August 1999 and the second in July 2000. The suit – which was filed Oct. 31 in U.S. District Court in Concord NH — claims that Sun was infringing on the Markem patents by offering Jet 7591 Water Removable Hotmelt to its customers.

In taking on Sun, Markem, a privately held corporation employing some 1,300 – half of whom are in New Hampshire — is taking on $4 billion company with nearly 10 times as many employees. Sun bills itself as the world’s largest producer of printing inks, itself a subsidiary of Dainippon Ink and Chemicals Inc. of Tokyo, Japan.

Calls to Markem were not returned by deadline. Sun declined comment. – BOB SANDERS

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