Supreme Court to Lexmark: when you sell something, the buyer then owns it

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Congratulations on finding some sanity somewhere; hopefully this will lead to yet better things.


Well, considering the DRM that goes into both ink cartridges and cars… Yes.

You are still getting banned from Xbox Live for having a modded console, though. =)


I applaud the decision. When they rule similarly about tractors and cars, I will applaud more loudly.


Lexmark: All right, be that way, we’ll just stop making toner!

Free Market: WTF?


and on top of all that, their printers are crap.


Their laser printers seem to be fairly solid. It’s their inkjets that were real garbage, but they stopped making them some years ago now.


Gizmodo had a considerably different take on this, namely that the ruling means US patent rights should not apply to products sold internationally and then imported. (I think?)

This is just a temporary setback for Lexmark.

Lex Luthor is nothing if not persistent.


This is a VERY unfortunate ruling. Not mentioned is that LexMark sells 2 versions of its cartridge, one with restrictions on refilling, which is cheaper; and a second that comes WITHOUT such restrictions, which is more expensive. This ruling ensures that they will only sell the 2nd going forward, and ink cartridges will be more expensive for everyone.

For actual facts, i recommend this site: . In relevant part:
Lexmark offers end-user customers a choice when they purchase these replacement cartridges: a “Regular Cartridge” sold at full price without any use limitations, or a “Return Program” cartridge sold at a discount in exchange for the purchaser’s agreement to use the cartridge only once.

Thank you for creating an account to tell us about Lexmark/s challenges…


This also affects consumers, as all ink cartridges will be priced at the higher price

I have a WILD and CRAZY IDEA - why not treat toner just like other consumables like paper and ascribe to a universal (non DRM non patent) standard?


they already did this… they sold toner cartridges you could refill whenever you wanted…

however, they gave you a deal if you promised not to refill them. Unfortunately this is now illegal…

Sorry - I think what I’m trying to say is that Lexmark, Brother, HP, whatever - should all get in a room and agree to a form factor, and not bother patenting this.

They can then open up the market for inkjet and laser refills to whomever meets the standard. Like 8X11 paper.

I realize this is a revenue source but it’s also a royal pain in the ass for both producers and consumers to deal with.

Of course - the real answer is to obviate the need to print at all, thus relegating this (archaic) practice to the dustbin of technology history - joining the typewriter and hopefully fax machine.


My hope of that this SCOTUS precedent can be leveraged to combat DRM in general. It’s the first crack in the tech consumable market’s armor this large that I am aware of. Suddenly patent protections don’t extend past sold good, so how do copyrights on the software bundled with it?

INAL, just curious if it would be possible.


I recently came across a "lexmark man’ delivering two large boxes in a shopping arcade

a) It’s not ink, it’s toner.
b) They’ll price them as the market will bear, or they damn well will go out of business. Threats are worthless.


Does this mean that now I own my music I bought from Apple?

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What do the copywarriors here think of a $200 data product on an SD card that is copy protected, used in a harsh environment, and the vendor has no replacement policy other than full retail. I feel I should have the right to back it up, or at least send in a dead card with $10 for a replacement. This is navigation maps created from US govt public data. I can’t imagine a piece of $200 software with the same “tough crap” conditions. You just register it. The bizarre part is they sell the phone app with all the same data for $10.