Feeds

Lexmark wins Round 1 in DMCA chip case

Get your toner cartridges off our lawn

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Lexmark has gained an early success in its Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) case against an obscure maker of toner cartridge chips.

The firm, Static Control inc., is ordered by a US court to "cease making, selling or otherwise trafficking in the Smartek(TM) microchip used in the remanufacturing of laser toner cartridges developed for the Lexmark T520/522 and T620/622 laser printers," Lexmark says in a press release. (This is not on the web site yet, but it will probably live here.)

The ruling from the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky is based upon the finding from Judger Karl Forester that £Lexmark is likely to prevail at trial on the merits of its copyright infringement and Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)", Lexmark reports

Static Controls produces a microchip which enables companies to remanufacture Lexmark toner cartridges - illegally, Lexmark claims. The printer giant notes that it has a cartridge readily available to remanufacturers without "the need of a third-party microchip".

And it points to its recycling and return policies, which has "significantly increased toner cartridge returns to Lexmark, allowing the company to keep these toner cartridges out of the waste stream and enabling Lexmark to offer its customers high quality remanufactured toner cartridges".

All well and good: but printer consumables are expensive and manufacturer lock-in ensures that they remain so. In Europe, HP has won a string of cases against clone inkjet cartridge makers, so the law is on the side of vendors, on both sides of the Atlantic.

But for how long? In December, the European Parliament
passed the "electroscrap" law, which includes a ruling directing manufacturers of printers to no longer incorporate chips into their own-brand ink refill cartridges. From there, it is just a short step to incorporating a similar ruling about toner cartridges.

Lexmark, HP, Canon, Brother et al will need to implement even more price-friendly green cartridge recycling policies to avoid such a fate. ®

Related stories

Lexmark unleashes DMCA on toner cartridge rival
EU tells HP et al to scrap inkjet 'clever chips'

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.