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Greentec on potential Lexmark infringement suit

July 10, 2012

Ontario-based remanufacturer has discussed the OEM’s letter sent to more than 300 aftermarket companies warning of an infringement suit.

Greentec has discussed Lexmark’s recent “one-time settlement offer” which was sent to more than 300 US remanufacturers on 23 May seeking damages from companies purported to be using empty cores sourced from overseas, as previously reported by The Recycler.

The OEM’s letter advises remanufacturers to both agree to the non-negotiable terms and pay royalties requested by Lexmark or face “being added as defendants to current litigation in a US district court”.

However the International Imaging Technology Council (I-ITC) states that the core of the legal action, that patent doctrine is largely unsettled, bases the OEM’s actions on “shaky authority”.

Greentec President and CEO Tony Perrotta commented: “Lexmark has been very aggressive in trying to prevent the reuse of their cartridges. They’ve tried to license consumable cartridges under their invalidated rebate program, they’ve tried implanting lock out chips so that the cartridges cannot be reused. This went to court in the US and the courts ruled in favour of the recycling industry.”

I-ITC Executive Director Tricia Judge added: “Once again, Lexmark is using its lawyers to extort business instead of earning it. Lexmark has driven into anti-competitive behaviour before […] Lexmark’s actions are unsupported by law or public policy.”

Shortly after Lexmark’s settlement offer, Australian newspaper The Age reported that Greentec cartridges sold by retailer Keytek were misleadingly labelled remanufactured, with journalist Paddy Manning claiming that the cartridges were in fact remanufactured compatibles.

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