The Ninth Circuit has created box-wrap patent licenses. Now the label on the box that says “single use only” is given force of law, and if you refill the cartridge you are liable for patent infringement. This from Lexmark, the company that already tried and failed to control the printer cartridge after-market using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)…Will patent owners exploit this decision as an opportunity to impose over-reaching restrictions on formerly permitted post-sale uses, repairs, modifications, and resale? Will consumers soon confront “single use only, not for resale” notices on more and more products? Will innovators stumble over labels announcing “modifications prohibited”? Link.
6 thoughts on “Single use only, modifications prohibited”
Looks like I will not buy a Lexmark.
Lexmark wants “the power to fix prices or exclude competition, coupled with policies designed to use or preserve that power.”
In short a Monopoly. I for one think that concentrations of resources (I can only a printer cartridge from one source) are injurious to the public and individuals because they minimize, if not obliterate, marketplace competition, and yield undesirable price controls (Lexmark can set any price because no one else can.)
P.S.Thare was a time when you could only rent a computer from IBM too.
Well, Lexmark is an IBM subsidiary and obviously look back to those good old days.
Personally I don’t use refills because they’re too messy and often use poor quality ink (I’ve seen the results, don’t want to loose my printer).
But I’d guess some higher court will reverse this decision from the 9th Circus court, like most of their more notorious decisions are eventually overturned.
I just started a Wikipedia article on this ruling: right now it has a decent overview of the issues involved.
Arizona Cartridge Remanufacturers Association Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc.”.
This ruling is of concern to me personally, because it could open the door to shrink-wrap licensing of instructional videos, making it harder for consumers to get access to the kinds of things we rent out at Technical Video Rental.
Comments are closed.