US Supreme Court Protects Consumers’ Right To Refill Ink Cartridges In Precedent-Setting Lexmark vs Impression Case

US Supreme Court Protects Consumers' Right To Refill Ink Cartridges In Precedent-Setting Lexmark vs Impression Case

Score one for the little guys. In a precedent-setting decision handed down this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a company’s patent rights are forfeited once they sell an item to a consumer under the “first sale” doctrine. This idea was central to Impression Products, Inc. v Lexmark Int’l, Inc. and is a major blow to companies that sell their printers for (relatively) low prices and then recoup any losses on the sale of expensive ink and toner cartridges.

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