ON CARRIER SECONDARY INK TANK WITH MEMORY AND FLOW CONTROL MEANS
 Inventor: William Paul Cook, Lexington, Ky.
 Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.,
 Appl. No.: 09/100,484  Filed: Jun. 19, 1998
 Int. CI.7 B41J 29/393; B41J 2/175
 U.S. CI 347/85; 347/19
 Field of Search 347/84-87, 19,
347/49; 399/238, 258, 260, 27, 12, 25
5,699,091 12/1997 5,788,388 8/1998
5-96744 4/1993 lapan .
Primary Examiner—N. Le
Assistant Examiner—-Judy Nguyen
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Michael T. Sanderson; Luedeka,
Neely & Graham
An apparatus and method insures that the ink supply in a disposable on carrier secondary ink tank and the ink supply in a semi-permanent base cartridge are compatible before a refilling operation is allowed to occur for an ink jet printer cartridge. A first memory is located in the base cartridge assembly and a second memory is located in the secondary ink tank. Compatibility information concerning properties such as the type, color and formulation ol the ink supplies in the base cartridge assembly and secondary ink tank is saved in the first and second memories. Before a refilling operation is commenced, the compatibility information is examined to determine if the ink supplies in the secondary ink tank and base cartridge assembly are compatible. If the ink supplies are compatible, a flow control device is activated to allow the refilling operation to begin. If the ink supplies are incompatible, the flow control device prevents the ink supplies from mixing and an alarm is produced that informs the user of the printer that the ink supplies are incompatible. The first and second memories are also employed to limit a base cartridge assembly to being refilled with secondary ink tanks belonging to a certain set of secondary ink tanks. The methods and apparatus described in the specification enable continued high quality printing for the life of the printhead.
31 Claims, 9 Drawing Sheets