Canon may have surprised some observers when it sued 31 separate defendants in a single day last week in the US. It is a famously conservative company, and head of IP Kenichi Nagasawa has long been a vocal critic of both NPE activity and the large corporations that enable it. But while Canon typically eschews litigation with large competitor companies, it has been consistent in using its patent portfolio – one of the world’s largest – against smaller firms threatening its printer cartridge business.

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