The North Carolina company that says it's fighting for the survival of low-cost, remanufactured printer cartridges has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Lexmark International, charging it with attempting to monopolise the printer market.
The new lawsuit, filed by Static Control Components (SCC) comes after Lexmark filed a lawsuit against Static last December for illegally copying its printer computer technology - the computer chips that have become an integral part of toner cartridges.
Last week, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky issued a preliminary injunction favouring Lexmark that barred SCC from making chips used in replacement cartridges for two of its laser printers.
"Naturally, we're disappointed in that order," general counsel for SCC, William "Skip" London, said.
However, But London said that Judge Karl Forester's ruling also provided guidance on what it could and couldn't do in producing compatible cartridges.
"We anticipate that we will be able to come up with a chip in a very short period of time that doesn't go against the judge's ruling," he said.
In its antitrust case filed in the federal court in North Carolina, SCC alleged that Lexmark's anti-competitive practices were squeezing out companies that remanufactured toner cartridge.
In its lawsuit, it argued that about 35 per cent of Hewlett-Packard toner cartridges were remanufactured, compared with about 14 per cent for Lexmark.
Static blamed that disparity on Lexmark's anticompetitive practices.
Lexmark officials said they hadn't received the lawsuit and would not comment until they had a chance to look it over.