U.S. Supreme Court: Static Control Can Proceed with Lawsuit Against Lexmark
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Static Control Components, which markets remanufactured and refilled Lexmark toner cartridges, can proceed with a lawsuit against Lexmark International that accuses Lexmark of disparaging its business and harming its reputation
A federal judge threw out that complaint, but the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Static Control can bring its lawsuit under the federal Lanham Act because Static Control alleges it lost sales, and had its business reputation damaged by Lexmark’s conduct.
Both Static Control and Lexmark have been litigating for over 10 years over Lexmark’s use of microchips in ink toner cartridges. In 2002, Lexmark began placing the chips inside the cartridges to stop companies such as Static Control from refilling and reselling the toner cartridges. However, Static Control was able to get around the new chips with its own microchips and continued reselling used and refilled toner cartridges to Lexmark’s customers.