Lexmark Moves to Force Printer Essentials to Comply with Subpoena

On March 12, Lexmark asked a district court to order Printer Essentials to comply with its subpoena. Lexmark claimed Printer Essentials has refused to produce documents requested by Lexmark. Because the documentation is related to its toner cartridge patent infringement suit before the U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio, Lexmark argues it is reasonable for Printer Essentials to respond to the subpoena.

On April 1, Printer Essentials filed its objection to Lexmark’s motion. Printer Essentials objected to the subpoena and refused to produce those documents. It also objected to Lexmark’s seeking information not relevant to any party’s claim. In addition, Printer Essentials claims that the documents Lexmark seeks are protected by attorney-client privilege, work-product doctrine, and contain trade secrets and other confidential information.

Lexmark’s motion explained the reason for the subpoena. It obtained a customer list from empties broker Greentec International, which identified Cardinal Cartridge, Inc., Cartridge World, Noops International and Printer Essentials. It alleges that Greentec sold empty Lexmark cartridges to one of the customers in this list. Lexmark states that the goal of Cardinal Cartridge, Inc., Noops International Inc. and Printer Essentials is to make enforcing Lexmark’s intellectual property rights difficult.

Lexmark has sent out subpoenas to many remanufacturers and empties brokers. It seeks documentation related to their purchase, acquisition, importation, sale and distribution of patented Lexmark cartridges. That documentation also includes evidence on whether those cartridges were first sold in the U.S., information on suppliers and consumers, as well as details on corporate structure and the relationships between entities. Some of those third-party supplies companies have not met Lexmark’s document production requests. Lexmark is bent on asking district courts for help in forcing them to comply with the subpoenas.

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