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.
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.
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.
New-molded cartridges, usually coming from Asia, have flooded the market. They most likely violate OEM intellectual property, particularly patents. They have garnered approximately 10 percent of the imaging supplies marketplace, cutting into the sales and profits of legitimate remanufacturers. And they clearly confuse customers. So what's the industry doing to combat these new-built clones? Read Tricia Judge’s article to find out.
Tricia Judge discusses the activities of the Owners' Rights Initiative (ORI) and its involvement in a pending case addressing the first-sale doctrine, which could result in dire consequences for the remanufacturing industry as well as other industries.