QuoteTo protect this franchise, increasingly under attack from rivals, H-P could sue any ink makers it suspects are infringing on its patents. This month, it sued China's G&G Ninestar Image Co., a cartridge manufacturer, alleging G&G had violated seven H-P patents in cartridge design. The complaint also targets four online retailers. H-P also asked the International Trade Commission to open an investigation against Ninestar. A Ninestar spokeswoman said the company had no comment. This latest suit follows other actions over the past year. In June, H-P said retailers Walgreen Co. and OfficeMax Inc. had infringed on H-P ink patents with ink used at in-store ink-cartridge-refilling stations; Walgreen and OfficeMax both deny the claims. Last year, H-P similarly warned the U.S. arm of Cartridge World Inc., a domestic retail ink-cartridge refiller; Cartridge World says it is working to resolve the issue.