02.17.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Lexmark Demonstrates Patents Against Public Interests and Against Competition

Posted in America, Patents at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ink
See original article

Summary: A review of press coverage regarding the Lexmark patent case, where gross overpricing of ink was defended by the Federal Circuit

THE news has been dominated, to some degree, by reports about the Federal Circuit doing a disservice to society (yet again).

As the EFF put it this week: “The Federal Circuit’s rule privileges patent owners over consumers, and helps ensure even less competition in the resale market. We hope the Supreme Court takes a hard look at this case, and restores consumers’ rights in products they purchase.”

“The Federal Circuit’s rule privileges patent owners over consumers, and helps ensure even less competition in the resale market.”
      –EFF
Without a doubt, many lawyers’ firms and lawyers’ sites are writing about it right now, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14].

Worth noting is the fact that legal sites wrote like 10 times more articles than general news sites (or technology sites) about this case, e.g. [1, 2]. A lot of people don’t ‘get’ patents; neither do journalists. They’d use silly phrases like “invent patents” or “make patents”. The propaganda worked on them.

“Here, the court held that this type of restriction is enforceable for Lexmark, but only because Lexmark’s product is covered by patent rights.”
      –Dennis Crouch
Here is the best report we’ve found on this subject (so far). TechDirt, which has covered this subject for over a decade (going back to 2004 if not earlier), wrote: “if you fail to block competition with one kind, apparently you can try, try again with another kind — and eventually you’ll end up in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who will mess everything up and kill off the competition. Printer company Lexmark has been at war with alternative suppliers of ink for well over a decade. As you may be aware, printer ink is sold at a ridiculously high markup, such that one estimate (from over a decade ago) noted that in order to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with printer ink, it would cost you $5.9 billion (yes, with a “b”) at the checkout counter of your local office-supply retailer. The printer makers have notably taken a “give away cheap crappy printers at a low cost, and make it up in seriously overpricing the ink” strategy to their businesses. This kind of thing works great until someone tries to step in and sell competing ink.”

Suffice to say, this case is about keeping the prices artificially high (higher by several orders of magnitude than the production cost). A response posted by Dennis Crouch said: “I was surprised at the en banc Federal Circuit’s decision in Lexmark to re-affirm Mallinckrodt — giving a seller power to block future resale and reuse of a patented product. My surprise is grounded in the longstanding tradition in American property law of promoting the free-flow of commerce by refusing to enforce servitudes that limit the alienation or use of goods. To be clear, courts have often enforced contracts between willing parties to this end, but those same courts have refused to allow restrictive covenants to cling to the good and bind any subsequent purchaser. Here, the court held that this type of restriction is enforceable for Lexmark, but only because Lexmark’s product is covered by patent rights.”

“Remember that CAFC is responsible for many other equally tactless decisions.”It was not the first time that Crouch’s blog covered this case in recent days (we mentioned this a few times in last week’s posts). Basically, Lexmark twists and bends the law for price-fixing/price hikes. Other companies, such as HP, would no doubt benefit from this, at the expense of the public. To quote Crouch’s blog: “The presumptions are of some importance for those operating on the ground. Here, the US court will presume that foreign sales of a product do not exhaust the US patent right. Thus, an importer must obtain a release/license of those rights to avoid liability (assuming a valid and otherwise infringed patent). Of course, that license right may be implied based upon providing notice of the importation intent. In addition, depending upon the location of sale, UCC 2-312 (or its foreign equivalent) may create a presumption of license depending upon the situation.”

When laws are being passed to protect the business models or large corporations at the expense of the public, are the laws at all legitimate? Should we not feel free to challenge them or better yet, engage in civil disobedience? Remember that CAFC is responsible for many other equally tactless decisions. It was also CAFC that got software patents started, not just in the US but in the whole world. In the past we showed evidence of institutional corruption inside CAFC.

“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Oscar Wilde

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  2. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  4. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  5. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  6. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  7. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  8. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  9. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  11. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  13. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  14. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  15. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  16. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  17. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  19. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  20. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  21. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  22. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  23. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  24. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

    Windows market share continues to decrease in spite of billions of dollars spent bribing the media for fake hype, especially in light of a new Windows Service Pack (SP), Vista SP 11



  25. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  26. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  27. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  28. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] Jimmy Zemlin Loves Microsoft

    It’s funny, isn’t it? Lying for a living and sucking up to the liars pays off; you get to plunder actual Linux users while leaving Linux morally and financially bankrupt



  30. Links 24/11/2021: PHP Foundation and Flatpak Criticisms

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts