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Who is Sawgrass Technologies?

Sawgrass Technologies, Inc. is a specialty chemical research company developing innovative vertical market solutions with patented digital transfer imaging technology. By combining leading edge digital ink products with advanced colour management software, Sawgrass has developed state–of–the–art systems for high quality colour printing of personalised and customised images onto a wide variety of surfaces. These technologies enable customers to create, manage and deliver visually rich products by harnessing the power of digital printing.

Did Sawgrass invent inkjet sublimation printing?

Prior to the mid–1990’s, a commercially viable/stable inkjet sublimation ink was not available in the market. There were unsuccessful attempts to sell sublimation inks for use in inkjet printers. These inks, however, tended to quickly settle out and could not be printed for more than a few hours without permanently damaging the print heads.

Sawgrass’ first solution for the problems encountered with inkjet sublimation was a wax thermal sublimation printer product released in the early 1990’s. Shortly after the successful release of wax thermal sublimation printing technology, Sawgrass began development of inkjet sublimation inks resulting in its first release in 1996.

This innovation was awarded U.S. and international patents. Users who print sublimation inks that have the properties of the Sawgrass invention in digital inkjet printers practice the Sawgrass Method.

Which companies have Sawgrass’ licensed to produce inks based on Sawgrass’ sublimation printing patents?

No companies are authorised to produce sublimation inks for printers less than 42.” Sawgrass has licensed the following companies to produce sublimation inks for printers 42” and larger: BASF, Huntsman (formerly Ciba Specialty Chemical), Inktec, J-Teck, Kiian Group, Kiwa Chemical Industry Co., Mimaki Engineering Company, Nazdar, Sensient Technologies, Seiko and Epson.

How does Sawgrass protect itself from companies that infringe on its patents?

Sawgrass owns patents covering the manufacture, printing and application of sublimation inks used with inkjet printers and has invested over $10 million into the development of this proprietary technology.

There are companies currently selling sublimation inks into the market that are believed to infringe on Sawgrass patents. The companies supplying these inks are aware of Sawgrass patent claims and of their products' patent infringement. They willfully choose to sell them for their financial gain in disregard of existing patents.

Sawgrass always seeks a business solution to this type of conflict, but must ultimately rely on federal courts to enforce the patent law and force such suppliers to stop selling patent infringing inks into the marketplace.