3 Count: Patent Statement

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1: Supreme Court Overturns Lexmark’s Patent Win on Used Printer Cartridges

First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 7-1 against printer manufacturer Lexmark in its case against Impression Products, a company that sells refilled printer cartridges for Lexmark printers.

The ruling centered around patent law, with Lexmark claiming that its patent on its printer technology prohibited the refilling and resale of its cartridges. However, the Supreme Court overturned the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruling in Lexmark’s favor, saying that once Lexmark sold the cartridge its patent in the product was “exhausted”, creating a right of first sale for patent law similar to that in copyright.

The ruling blocks Lexmark’s to both force its customers to return cartridges to them, rather than third parties such as Impression, and their efforts to stop Impression’s refilling and resale of cartridges. However, the debate over cartridge refilling may not be over as similar disputes, but focused on copyright and the circumvention of DRM are still ongoing and may still result in the blocking of refilling and repairing efforts.

2: Oracle vs. Google Legal Brawl Shifts From Silicon Valley to Washington

Next up today, Mariam Baksh at Morning Consult report that yesterday represented the deadline for amicus briefs in the latest appeal in the Oracla v. Google case and, with it, came briefs in support of both sides.

The case, first filed in 2010, deals with Google’s copying of Java API code in its Android Mobile operating system. Oracle claims that Google copied the API code to ensure compatibility even as it wrote the backend of the language from scratch. Initially the lower court had ruled that API code was not subject to copyright protection but the appeals court overturned that in 2013. However, when the case went back to the lower court, the court found that the use was a fair use and was non-infringing.

Now that ruling i son appeal and groups supporting both sides have filed appeals. Oracle has found a supporter in the Copyright Alliance while Google has the support of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ant the Computer and Communications Industry Association. It will likely be another year before the appeals court issues a ruling.

3: Facebook Updates Ad Policy to Restrict Piracy Services

Finally today, John McCarthy at The Drum reports that Facebook has quietly updated its policies to bar the sale of products that “facilitate or encourage unauthorized access to digital media.”

The policy, which impacts both services that can advertise on Facebook and products that can be sold through its marketplace, goes into effect immediately. Facebook is promising to comb through its current advertisers and remove those that don’t comply. It expects to have the process largely automated next week.

Facebook also said it believes that such ads and sales make up a very small percentage of its ad revenue but will not be certain until it finishes its purge.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

The 3 Count Logo was created by Justin Goff and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

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