Claiming various Asian companies and their distributors are violating its toner cartridge intellectual property (IP), Lexmark filed lawsuits with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and federal district court in August. Lexmark’s legal action follows a similar move by Canon in June. A key difference between the Canon and Lexmark lawsuits is that Lexmark names more respondents. Like Canon, Lexmark takes aim at Ninestar, but the firm has also named the Print-Rite and the Jahwa group of companies in its complaints. Lexmark names the same firms in both its ITC and district court complaints. (See list of respondents below.)
Lexmark’s lawsuit is broader in scope than Canon’s and could drastically alter the number of remanufactured Lexmark toner cartridges entering the United States. While Canon is seeking a limited exclusion order from the ITC, Lexmark is requesting a general exclusion order. Whether Lexmark has proven that such an action is merited is unclear and something the commission will have to determine. Such an order would, however, destroy the nascent third-party supplies market for most Lexmark monochrome laser printers and MFPs in the United States and significantly impact many non-OEM cartridges makers’ businesses.
[Note: This is the third in a three-part series of Actionable Briefings. Part 1 examined key historical toner cartridges lawsuits that have laid the groundwork for Canon’s and Lexmark’s intellectual property (IP) lawsuits currently before the before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and U.S. federal district courts. Part 2 looked at the Canon lawsuits in more detail.]