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Lexmark lawsuit seeks to defend intellectual property rights

Press release from the issuing company

LEXINGTON, Ky., Jan. 9 -- As a result of a Lexmark International, Inc. lawsuit against Static Control Components, Inc., for violation of the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the federal district court in Lexington, Ky., issued a temporary order - agreed to by Static Control - requiring Static Control to immediately cease making, selling, or otherwise trafficking in the "Smartek" microchip for the toner cartridges developed for the Lexmark T520/522 and T620/622 laser printers. The order is in effect until Lexmark's motion for a preliminary injunction is heard by the Court. Lexmark's complaint alleges that the Smartek microchips incorporate infringing copies of Lexmark's copyrighted software and are being sold by Static Control to defeat Lexmark's technological controls, thereby allowing the unauthorized access to Lexmark's protected software programs and the unauthorized remanufacturing of Lexmark "Prebate" toner cartridges. Lexmark spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually on research and development, and the company intends to vigorously protect its intellectual property rights. Importantly, Lexmark's product offering provides its customers a choice in toner cartridge purchases including a readily available toner cartridge that can be remanufactured by anyone without any requirement that a third-party microchip be used on the remanufactured toner cartridge. In addition, Lexmark offers customers an opportunity to participate in Lexmark's remanufacturing program. In Lexmark's remanufacturing program, Lexmark offers an up-front rebate (or Prebate) in return for their agreement to return the used Prebate toner cartridge only to Lexmark for remanufacturing. This environmentally friendly Prebate program has significantly increased toner cartridge returns to Lexmark, allowing Lexmark to keep these toner cartridges out of landfills and enabling Lexmark to offer its customers high-quality remanufactured toner cartridges. This environmental effort allowed Lexmark to evolve into one of the world's largest remanufacturers of toner cartridges.