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Court Rules in Favor of Static Control

22 Feb, 2005

Court Rules in Favor of Static Control

The United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, responding to a request by Lexmark International, Inc. for a re-hearing, ruled against the Lexington-based company in a decision announced Wednesday.

In late October, the Sixth Circuit vacated an order by Judge Karl Forester, who granted a preliminary injunction in February of 2003 banning the sale of Smartek replacement chips by Static Control Components for the Lexmark cartridges.

Immediately following the ruling, Lexmark filed a motion for re-hearing. The Sixth Circuit denied that request on February 15th.

"This is a very gratifying decision," said SCC CEO Ed Swartz, on the latest setback for Lexmark. "We feel that the public interest has been served by a knowledgeable court to not allow a greedy OEM to use the law to perpetuate an electronic monopoly. Consumers and justice have been served."

On December 30, 2002, Lexmark filed a lawsuit against SCC. In the suit Lexmark claimed that SCC's Smartek 520/620 chips violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

"We have asserted from the outset that this is a blatant misuse of the DMCA. The Sixth Circuit's ruling and the court's decision not to hear Lexmark's request for another hearing solidifies and supports our position that the DMCA was not intended to create aftermarket electronic monopolies," said Swartz, who pointed out that such monopolies could cost consumers billions of dollars each year.

According to SCC General Counsel William London, "The case is scheduled for trial in December of 2005 on what remains of Lexmark's claims, and on Static Control's claims against Lexmark for violating several state and federal antitrust and anticompetitive statutes."

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