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12/11/2004 Archived Entry: "IP law and printer cartridges"
More on the absurdities of current Intellectual Property law, with at least one outbreak of sanity: a Tokyo court has ruled that it's legal to refill Canon printer cartridges. Canon claimed patent infringement because Recycle Assist was taking old Canon cartridges and refilling them....not manufacturing compatible cartidges, take note. Fortunately the Tokyo court showed some sense (although Canon may yet appeal).
Even more offensive was Lexmark's initially-successful attempt to use the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) against Static Control Corp., a manufacturer of chips for compatible cartridges. The appeals court has agreed to hear the case and has lifted an 18-month injunction. If you needed another reason to not buy Lexmark printers, here are two: they're abusing the law to defend a monopoly position, and if they succeed they'll jack the price of your cartridges sky-high. (That's where the money is.) —brad