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Print On Demand Patent Infringed, Jury Awards $15 Million in Damages

Press release from the issuing company

March 5, 2004 -- (WhatTheyThink.com) -- The Associated Press reported last evening that a federal jury has awarded On Demand Machine Corp. $15 million in damages. The jury agreed with the plaintiff's claim that the nation's leading provider of on-demand book printing infringed on its patent for the technology. The defendants, Lightning Source, Ingram Industries and Amazon.com plan to appeal. The verdict could mean that consumers who follow certain steps to order a book printed-on-demand also may be infringing on the patent, a lawyer for the plaintiff told the AP. According to court records, the suit was filed in October 2001 by On Demand Machine Corp., founded by systems engineer Harvey Ross. In 1990 he developed the concept of on-demand book printing. Ross passed away in 2002. The AP says that Ross' idea was that a customer could enter a bookstore kiosk, key a book title into a computer and access a synopsis, sales and other consumer information before clicking on a command that would produce a printed, bound and covered book within minutes. Reportedly he took his prototype to book expos in New York, but his idea never became a commercial reality. The company has asked the Judge to halt the defendants' on-demand-book-printing operations. A decision on that request is expected within weeks. Also, the law allows for triple damages in cases of "willful" patent infringement according to the Kansas City Star. WhatTheyThink.com was unable to reach the parties in this case as of press time. We will publish more information on this story as it becomes available.