Selling recycled Canon printer cartridges does not constitute an infringement of the company's intellectual property, the Tokyo District Court has ruled. The judgement marks the latest stage in Canon's legal battle against printer cartridge recycler Recycle Assist (RA). In April this year, Canon sued RA, claiming the company was violating its patents.
The verdict, that RA wasn't, paves the way for other such companies to begin taking in old printer cartridges and refilling them with ink or toner - with a commensurate loss to the major printer makers' earnings from new cartridge sales. Such are the juicy margins on new printer consumables, the printer manufacturers have been willing to stop at almost nothing to defend them. In the US, Lexmark has similarly been pursuing Static Control Corporation (SCC) through the courts in order to block the company from selling toner cartridges compatible with its own.
News source: The Register