Burns & Levinson partner Mark Schonfeld, with help from a Burns & Levinson associate, drafted and filed an amicus brief for the Imaging Supplies Coalition (ISC) in support of Lexmark International in an ongoing patent case between Lexmark and Impression Products. The case, currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (USFC), involves the patent exhaustion legal doctrine that defines the rights of patent owners after a product has been first sold.

This case has the potential to initiate radical change in patent law. The brief encourages the court to uphold existing case law that allows patent owners to prevent re-importation of their patented products into the U.S., if their goods were intended for sale and sold abroad.

"Consumable imaging supplies and equipment are a repeat market with a ready supply of empty consumed units, so infringers and arbitragers have relatively easy access to use patented goods to create an illegal aftermarket," said Mark. "Consequently, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must wage a constant battle to protect their valuable intellectual property rights, to maintain the goodwill associated with their brands and to protect their consumers from inferior products that trade off of their well-earned reputations."

ISC members invest substantial resources and effort in researching and developing new technology for the imaging supplies industry and protecting this new technology through intellectual property rights. To do so, the ISC also spends significant resources fighting infringement.

A full bench hearing of all 17 USFC judges on Oct. 2 will hear oral arguments from both sides and will consider the amicus briefs that have been submitted.

The Imaging Supplies Coalition is a nonprofit trade association comprised of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of consumable imaging supplies and equipment that have joined together to protect their customers by combating illegal activities in the imaging supplies industry. Coalition members include Brother International Corporation, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Epson America Inc., HP, Lexmark International, Inc., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. and Xerox Corporation.

Burns & Levinson's Intellectual Property Litigation attorneys represent clients worldwide in disputes involving a wide array of intellectual property and technology. Our lawyers aggressively enforce and protect intellectual property rights and vigorously defend clients against all challengers. Whether representing large companies or individual inventors, we adhere to a philosophy that focuses on a client's business objectives by skillfully litigating in a highly efficient and cost-effective manner.

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