Logo used 2015–present
Lexmark International, Inc. is a Chinese-owned corporation based in the United States that manufactures laser printers and imaging products. The company is headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky.
Lexmark was formed on March 27, 1991 when IBM divested a number of its hardware manufacturing operations, including printer and printer supply operations, to the investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Inc. in a leveraged buyout. Lexmark became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange on November 15, 1995.
It was reported in April 2016 that Lexmark would be acquired by Apex Technology and PAG Asia Capital for $3.6 billion USD. Lexmark was set to be acquired at $40.50 per share in the transaction. Initial talks for the acquisition were begun at the Remax World Expo in 2015. The deal was closed on November 29, 2016. Lexmark stated that its headquarters would remain in Lexington, and that its enterprise software line of business would be spun off and "rebranded" to Kofax.
The firm's corporate headquarters is located in Lexington and research and development (R&D) offices are distributed globally with additional R&D facilities located in Boulder, Colorado; Lenexa, Kansas; Cebu, Philippines; Kolkata, West Bengal, India; Berlin, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden and Irvine, California. Lexmark has offices throughout North and South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. The company has more than 12,000 employees worldwide.
In August 2012, Lexmark announced that it would stop production of its inkjet printer line. Lexmark will continue to provide service, support and aftermarket supplies for its inkjet installed base.
In April 2013, Funai Electric Company, Ltd. announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire Lexmark's inkjet technology and assets for approximately $100 million (approximately ¥9.5 billion). Funai acquired more than 1,500 inkjet patents, Lexmark's inkjet-related research and development assets and tools, all outstanding shares and the manufacturing facility of Lexmark International (Philippines), Inc., and other inkjet-related technologies and assets.
Lexmark pioneered the use of profits from ink cartridges as a business model, with the result of modifying the legal models of product ownership and patent exhaustion over several years.
A court victory in 2005 was handed to Lexmark in the case of ACRA v. Lexmark. This case states that Lexmark can enforce the "single use only" policy written on the side of Lexmark printer cartridge boxes sold to certain large customers at a discount, with the understanding that the customers will return the cartridges to Lexmark after using them. This means that these customers can face lawsuits if they breach the agreements, and do not return the cartridges.
Also in 2005, Lexmark suffered a legal defeat in the case of Lexmark Int'l v. Static Control Components, when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Lexmark's petition for a writ of certiorari, thereby rejecting their attempt to have the Court hear their case. In this case, the defendant was a manufacturer of microchips that allowed third-party ink and toner cartridges to work on printers, including many manufactured by Lexmark. Such printers incorporated a feature that would require authentication from a microchip within the ink/toner cartridge in order to function; this was designed to prohibit users from refilling the cartridges. However, a recent firmware update allowed Lexmark to prevent end users from refilling ink cartridges or using third-party ink cartridges.
Lexmark also lost in the Supreme Court case Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. in 1 7-1 ruling that reversed and remanded a Federal Circuit court decision (30 May 2017):
When a patentee chooses to sell an item, that product is no longer within the limits of the monopoly and instead becomes the private, individual property of the purchaser, with the rights and benefits that come along with ownership. A patentee is free to set the price and negotiate contracts with purchasers, but may not, by virtue of his patent, control the use or disposition of the product after ownership passes to the purchaser. The sale terminates all patent rights to that item.