November 27, 2020

Static Control Countersues Lexmark

Static Control, a maker of replacement toner cartridge supplies for Lexmark-brand printers, has added antitrust claims to a lawsuit against Lexmark, reports an AP story by Paul Nowell.

Lexmark had sued Static Control for copyright infringement and DMCA violations, after Static Control sold chips that allow non-Lexmark toner cartridges to work in Lexmark printers. Recently a Federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Static Control, ordering them to stop selling the chips. (I’ll be writing more about the judge’s decision later.)

Static Control’s new countersuit apparently alleges that Lexmark’s actions constitute an illegal attempt to monopolize the market for Lexmark-compatible toner cartridges. Lexmark’s actions, in designing its technology and then in trying to stop Static Control’s chip sales, appear to have been designed to keep other companies out of the market for Lexmark-compatible toner cartridges. Whether this violates antitrust law remains to be seen.