A printer cartridge reseller overstepped the patent rights of Lexmark International Inc when it imported toner products of Lexmark back into the United States after they were first vended abroad, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday.
In a success that fortifies U.S. patent ability of owner to regulate the use of their products after they are vended, the court also initiate Impression Products Inc responsible for selling repaired Lexmark cartridges that were initially marketed for a single use under its recycle and return program.
The vice president and general counsel of the company Bob Patton, said in a statement that the decision will assist Lexmark in its exertions to combat the importation and sale of inferior toner cartridges that overstep intellectual property rights of the company.
An attorney for Impression Products, Edward O’Connor, promised to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Although the case was about laser printer cartridges, the verdict by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., one of the top most court concentrating in patent issues, had been passionately projected by the high tech and pharmaceutical industries due to of its probable impact on how they engage in international trade.
However, Major software and electronics companies, argued that giving a patent owner the ability to attach environments on the significance of modern high-tech products that incorporate modules from around the world would limit trade and upsurge prices.
Friday’s conclusion, in a 10-2 vote by the full slate of the Federal Circuit’s judges, supports a ruling by a lower federal court in Cincinnati, Ohio that establish Impression Products accountable for selling cartridges of Lexmark first sold abroad.