Lexmark, HP Using Patent Law To Try To Block Replacement Ink Cartridges From The Market
from the there-is-no-free-market-in-black-gold dept
Every so often, we hear another bunch of claims from HP about ink refillers infringing on its patents, and just a few weeks ago, we heard that HP was asking the US ITC to block the import of refill ink cartridges from foreign competitors, claiming patent infringement.
Not to be left out, it looks like HP competitor Lexmark is getting into the game as well, and has also asked the ITC to bar the import of ink refills from 24 companies. Lexmark is also suing those same companies in court, showing once again how the ITC loophole gives companies two bites at the same apple.
Of course, it's fascinating to see Lexmark jump into the patent infringement game on ink refills. After all, it famously tried and failed to use the DMCA and copyright law to stop ink refills. It was right after that when HP started using patent claims, so it looks like it took a bit of time for Lexmark to get together a patent plan.
Of course, would it be nice if, rather than relying on government granted monopolies to block perfectly legitimate competition, these companies actually competed in the marketplace? Or is that too much to ask?