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Refilling printer ink cartridges: crime?

lexmark printer ink

A recent court victory was handed to Lexmark, which reportedly gives them the power under contract and patent law to enforce the "single use only" policy written on the side of Lexmark printer cartridge boxes. This means you could technically face legal charges for refilling a Lexmark printer cartridge with third-party ink. Apparently, not all Lexmark ink cartridges are sold under the "single use policy" — but units sold without the policy come at a higher price. Lexmark calls this their "Prebate" program, in which they offer consumers a 20% (about $30) markdown on ink cartridges if they agree to send them back to Lexmark after a single use. The recent court ruling upheld that such a policy was enforceable by Lexmark, such that if you buy a cheaper cartridge under the Prebate program, you are breaking the law and could face legal action if you refill the cartridge, send it to another cartridge remanufacturer, or if you simply don't return it. So, y'know, if you're in the habit of buying cheap Lexmark ink cartridges, you might want to keep an eye out for the Lexmark militia come to commandeer those suckers.

[Via Slashdot]

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