Static Control Optimistic Over False Advertising Lawsuit Against Lexmark

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral arguments regarding the case between Lexmark and Static Control Components. The court has yet to rule who can sue for violations of the federal false advertising statute.

Static Control said, “A decision will not be made for months, but the leaning of the court strongly favored another win for Static Control.” The company’s claims against Lexmark are based, in part, on Lexmark falsely telling remanufacturers that remanufacturing “Prebate” cartridges was illegal. The Lanham Act, a federal statute, prohibits false advertising. The trial ourt initially rejected Static Control’s Lanham Act claim, but the Sixth Circuit reinstated it. Lexmark asked the Supreme Court to overrule the Sixth Circuit.

Early on in the argument, things favored Static Control. Justice Sotomayor interrupted Lexmark’s lawyer stating: “You’re disparaging the goods of a person. You’re saying that it’s illegal to use that person’s products. It seems to me that’s the essence of the Lanham Act as it’s now written.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also seemed to favor a ruling for Static Control, commenting: “Here is an entrepreneur that says, ‘We make a product and Lexmark is disparaging our product. It is essentially trying to get us out of this line of business. Certainly if you just read the words of the Lanham Act, this is allegedly false advertising.”

“We are extremely pleased with how things went today,” said Static Control’s President Bill Swartz. “We look forward to the court’s decision in June.”

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