Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc.

In Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc., printer company Lexmark sold printer cartridges with restrictions on refilling and resale. Impression Products acquired used Lexmark ink cartridges and then refilled and resold them, sparking a lawsuit from Lexmark claiming infringement. The Federal Circuit decided in Lexmark’s favor, ruling that a customer’s use of a product can be “restricted” by the patent owner with something as simple as a notice on disposable packaging.

In an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court, EFF argues that “conditional sales” like the ones attempted by Lexmark cannot impose arbitrary conditions on a customer’s use of a product. The Federal Circuit’s incorrect ruling to the contrary goes against the doctrine of “patent exhaustion,” which says that once a patent owner sells a product, it cannot later claim the product’s use or sale is infringing.

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Republicans in Congress caught not reading their own privacy policies #BroadbandPrivacy https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Mar 27 @ 5:40pm

Tell the California Assembly no to censorship, no to A.B. 1104. https://act.eff.org/action/pr...

Mar 27 @ 5:34pm

The answer to "fake news" is not censorship. Stop California A.B. 1104. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks...

Mar 27 @ 4:19pm
JavaScript license information