Amicus Brief Supports Lexmark

A brief supporting Lexmark at the US Court of the Appeals for the Federal Circuit (USFC) has been filed by the non-profit Imaging Supplies Coalition (ISC). The coalition includes major printer OEMs including Canon, HP, Xerox, Brother, Samsung, Epson, Toshiba and Lexmark.

The amicus, or friend of the court brief encourages the court to maintain existing case law. Prepared by highly regarded patent litigation attorney Mark Schonfeld, partner at Burns & Levinson, LLP, the ISC advised RT Media that the brief supports Lexmark in its ongoing case against Impression Products over the patent exhaustion legal doctrine that define the rights of patent owners after a product has been first sold.

According to the ISC, their members “invest substantial resources and effort in researching and developing new technology for the imaging supplies industry and protecting the new technology through intellectual property rights.” Also, they have been fighting against infringing products and they believe “consumable imaging supplies and equipment are a repeat market with a ready supply of empty consumed units. Infringers and arbitragers have relatively easy access to use patented goods to create an illegal aftermarket in imaging supplies.” ISC declares OEMs have every right to be committed to the protection of their brands, their customers and their valuable intellectual property rights by fighting against unauthorized and infringing activities.

In addition, the ISC notes that it’s their mission to uphold strong intellectual property rights and supporting enforcement activities of rights owners. As OEMs rely on their patent rights for decision making, the ISC believes “stable and uniform precedent regarding patent rights is important to the ISC, to its members and to the U.S. economy.”

The ISC is a non-profit trade association comprised of original equipment manufacturers of consumable imaging supplies (ribbons, toner, inks, cartridges, etc.) and equipment that have joined together to protect their customers by combating illegal activities in the imaging supplies industry.

In June, Recycling Times reported, the panel of 3 judges called for a rare en banc hearing where all 17 Federal Circuit judges must deliberate on the case. The panel also invited friend of the court briefs, called amicus briefs, to be lodged to support either side of the argument. The full bench hearing of all Federal Circuit judges has now been set for October 2 with their decision probably not being announced until the New Year.

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