Toner Industry Hangs in Balance Over Jury Ruling

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - An electronic chip that has sparked a legal fight could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and turn the toner cartridge industry on its head.

The C-E-O of the North Carolina company being sued by Lexington, Kentucky, printer giant Lexmark tried to put things in perspective speaking to a federal jury today.

Static Control C-E-O Ed Swartz says it's just a little piece of plastic, defending his company's chip from the one Lexmark claims it copied in violation of federal patent law.

The trial could be enormous to the industry. Static makes its business by selling the parts required to rebuild printer cartridges. That allows corporate customers to refill their ink for far less money than they would pay in buying new cartridges from Lexmark.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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