Lexmark files patent suits against 24 cartridge makers

Lexmark filed a patent infringement complaints that accuse 24 companies of violating 15 patents owned by Lexmark.

Lexmark filed a patent infringement complaint last week with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Both suits accuse 24 companies that import replacement cartridges for Lexmark laser printers of violating 15 patents owned by Lexmark.

Both suits name the same 24 defendants. The ITC complaint--the now-standard venue for taking patent disputes against companies that import goods to the United States--asks that the defendants' products be banned from import and sale in the States. The federal lawsuit asks for an injunction on sales of the disputed products, as well as monetary damages.

This is not the first time Lexmark has battled the aftermarket-printing industry. In 2003, Lexmark famously tried to invoke the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in an attempt to block a toner refill company from making replacement cartridges for Lexmark products. Lexmark ultimately lost the case, but it hasn't been alone in its fight against cartridge makers.

For more of this story, read Lexmark sues 24 cartridge makers over patents on CNET News.

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