Supreme Court could hear Charleston company, Lexmark case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court could possibly hear a case involving Lexmark and a small Charleston company that refills and resells empty toner cartridges.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Lexington, Kentucky-based printing corporation sued Impression Products, accusing the company of patent infringement for selling its cartridges.

Impression Products argued Lexmark's patents on its cartridges are no longer effective after the cartridges are sold, allowing the smaller company to sell them freely.

In February, a federal court sided with Lexmark, saying the corporation's patent rights weren't exhausted.

Last month, the federal government recommended the Supreme Court review the case.

Impression Products President Eric Smith says while this doesn't guarantee that the justices will review the case, it sharply increases the probability of it happening.

Lexmark didn't respond to requests for comment.

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