On July 30, Impression Products Inc. (Impression) filed a motion to dismiss Lexmark’s case against it in the U.S. District Court of Southern Ohio. Impression argues that under current law, Lexmark has no legal basis for relief. The motion’s supporting memorandum states that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons has overturned the Jazz Photo v. Fuji Film decision that is the underpinning of Lexmark’s case against dozens of companies in the aftermarket.
Trade dress is a type of intellectual property that applies to products’ appearance and design. If infringed upon, OEMs and consumers alike can be awarded significant damages by the court. Both remanufacturers and resellers should be aware of these laws.
A recent Supreme Court decision held that the first-sale doctrine applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad, and while the decision does not mention patent law, it has obvious implications. However, the issue of patent exhaustion and the first-sale doctrine remains unanswered for now.
FBA Holding filed a complaint against Lexmark International seeking a declaratory judgment that FBA’s activities do not infringe Lexmark’s patents. FBA was targeted by Lexmark for its purchase, remanufacture and resale of cores that may have been first sold outside the United States.
Hewlett-Packard sued LD Products, an online supplies dealer, on February 4 in California. HP alleges that LD Products falsely represents that it sells remanufactured cartridges when it is actually selling new “clone” cartridges.