Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Laying Down the Law -- A legal perspective on the business

Laying Down the Law: Legal Issues and the Aftermarket,Tricia Judge, Executive Director, International Imaging Technology Council

The year of color? Tricia would argue 2008 is the year of patents! She offers some news developments within imaging and printing, and also an analogy with Ford trucks and wheels. A recent development includes the emergence of "patent trolls" in our industry.

Tricia offered background on Lexmark's prebate case, the Jazz Photo and Fuji Film case, and the recent Epson general exclusion order keeping competitive product out of the USA, as over-reaching of the patent laws and describes developments that may favor the remanufacturing industry and go against the OEMs. This all leads up to the June 2008 US Supreme Court's unanimous ruling favoring patent exhaustion, in ruling on the Quanta Computers vs LG Electronics case.

What this means and might mean? Tricia offered a list under both headings, including, under the former, "All of this activity creates opportunities and strengthens the aftermarket position. The impact of these cases and changes turn on the strength of the OEM patents, some of which may be 98-pound weaklings". And under the latter, "a renaissance for the US remanufacturer?"

Even with lunch waiting, the Lyra audience offered up nearly a dozen questions for Tricia Judge.

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