Lexmark and Impression Products Appeal: Why You Should Care

The following appears on action-intell.com by Chris Bonadio

It is almost the fourth of July. It is finally summer. Most of you are probably thinking about heading to the beach or pool, family cookouts, and other fun seasonal activities. The last thing you or I want to think about is U.S. law pertaining to patent exhaustion. Because that sounds just exhausting, doesn’t it?

Well, I hate to be the one to disturb your holiday reveries, but there has been huge news that has the potential to change U.S. patent law affecting the remanufacturing industry.

Last week, Lexmark’s toner cartridge lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio came to an end (see “Lexmark Lawsuit in Ohio Comes to an End, Appeals Likely”). Shortly thereafter both Lexmark and Impression Products filed appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This court has jurisdiction in various areas, including patent case appeals. If you are a remanufacturer doing business in the United States, these appeals will be important to follow, as each may have a dramatic impact on your business.

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While I don’t have copies of the appeals yet (look for more detailed coverage when I do), what each party would appeal was spelled out as the district court complaint in Ohio wound down.

Lexmark’s Appeal

Lexmark is presumably appealing the judge’s decision to enter a judgment in favor of Impression Products with respect to the firm’s remanufacturing of Return Program (aka Prebate) cartridges first sold in the United States, as well as the court’s March 27 order dismissing Lexmark’s claims related to Return Program cartridges because the program is “invalid under patent law“ (see “Impressions Products Wins One, Loses One Motion to Dismiss Lexmark Lawsuit”).

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