Laser printer giant Hewlett-Packard has failed in another attempt to keep control of its printer consumables market.
In a US legal case, it failed to prevent competitors from refilling and then selling its printer cartridges with toner.
Four weeks ago, a US court found against HP in an unrelated case where company Nu Kote won the battle to sell used cartridges with their own powder.
But last week the US Court of Appeals for the federal circuit rejected HP?s case against a New Jersey company called Repeat-O-Type for infringing its patents in a move set to establish further US precedents.
But HP is unlikely to sit down and take this latest judgement. It has a reputation for being litigious over consumables for its Laserjet printers, which are a major source of income. Consumables give HP bigger profit margins than sales of machines.
The patent court, however, while sanctioning the practice of filling cartridges with toner powder, does not want people to resell them using the HP or the HP Laserjet name.
The company refused to comment on the decision nor did it wish to say whether a patent court in north America had the right to decide similar cases that might be brought overseas.
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