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Today's News for the Imaging Supplies Industry


The US Supreme Court limits patent rights

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US Supreme Court issues ruling that Patent Rights are Exhausted After First Sale, Wherever that Sale Takes Place.


In a short decision rendered by Chief Justice Roberts today, the US Supreme Court exhausted patent rights on products first sold wither domestically or overseas. The decision in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. specifically involved the sale of printer cartridges. The decision was nearly unanimous with only Justice Ginsburg dissenting, and only to the question of international products sales.


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Supreme Court leans towards Aftermarket in Oral Arguments


After a chilly, even hostile reception at the appellate level, the US Supreme Court appears warmly open to domestic patent exhaustion. As for international patent exhaustion after the first sale of a cartridge, they appear ready to overturn the lower court on that issue as well.


Oral arguments in the case of Impression Products v Lexmark Inc. were held on Tuesday morning. Lexmark has been using this unsettled area of patent law to threaten – or sue – remanufacturers when they “violate” the return program by remanufacturing cartridges, or buy cores first sold in Canada or overseas for remanufacturing.


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