It really amuses me how so many people on the internet know more about what's best for Epson's commercial strategy than Epson does, eventhough they are the ones in the business and with the most to lose from getting it wrong.
As for my credentials (I don't think it's relevant but people on the internets seem to require that even if the reasoning is sound): degree in Economics, and I work in finance for a Global Fortune 500 company in an unrelated field.
Nevertheless, what I said has very little to do with numbers, or your peripherally relevant anecdote. The fact is that the business model is getting outdated. Whenever a business has to use courts to cling to their revenue stream, that's almost always a sign of a dying business model. If the only way you can assure sales is by beating your competitors to submission through courts, and/or by locking your customers in, you have already lost the war. That's because your competitors will come up with better, faster and/or cheaper ways to produce the same results - witness HP and Canon entering Epson's turf -, or customers going for other products in disgust - witness rise of Linux despite it being arguably inferior to Windows.
I heard and posted here about this case a few months back, and am not touching Epson even if they come up with a 3D printer complete with life-size Angelina Jolie samples. I haven't heard any compelling argument which would justify Epson's rabid attack. Sure, it might make sense legally. Hell, it might even be in accordance with patents - which I fully support although they are given out too easily these days. That doesn't mean it's a good, or even a decent, base for a business.
If I was an Epson shareholder, I'd be freaked out by Epson potentially alienating their low-end customers, which I assume to be a major portion of their sales despite all the talk about their high-end products here. Also, by refusing their customers buying cheaper ink they are effectively denying themselves the ability to ride the price curve (of printers), ie. people who can't afford to print with Epson inks don't buy Epson printers - so instead of selling a printer but no ink to those customers, Epson loses all of those customers. Finally, Epson is paying a lot of money to lawyers, money that could be spent on R&D to fix the infamous clogging issues, better B&W printing workflow, or some novel printing tech.
And don't even get me started how DOA the industry's business model is: selling printers at a discount, while jacking up the price of ink to higher levels than the finest cognacs. Some MBA read a chapter on customer lock-in at school and thought creating an artificial but unsustainable monopoly would make for a great business model for an entire industry. That's why they now need to bring in trained attack lawyers to protect it, while exposing themselves to the next company which is smart enough to avoid the same mistakes.
The ITC effort is directed towards going after the razor/razor blade model where people buy Epson printers and then are convinced that cheapo 3rd party inks are "just as good" or are buying bootleg knockoff copies. The companies selling the cheapos and knockoffs are are using ink carts that are being cheaply manufactured that violate Epson patents...
How can this possibly considered good for the consumer?
If I buy a printer, I don't like people telling me what I can do with it. If I want to use it as a fishing net weight, I'll use it as a fishing net weight. Same thing with inks. Epson should have no place to limit the inks I use. Capitalism is built on free markets, and creating artificial monopolies supported by broken rhetoric about protecting their customers - when they actually mean protecting their bottom line - is where I vote with my euros. The only thing Epson should be able to do here is to put a big sticker on the printer saying "if you use non-Epson inks blaah blaah blaah" so I can ignore and rip it off.