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Judge delays hearing in toner DMCA case

A federal judge has postponed a hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon in a copyright lawsuit against Static Control Components, a company that makes replacement toner cartridges. U.S. District Judge Karl Forester has not set a new date for the hearing on Lexmark's request for a preliminary injunction under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), but a representative for the judge said it will take place soon.

In a novel use of the controversial 1998 copyright law, Lexmark sued Static Control, alleging that the company's Smartek chip unlawfully tricks Lexmark printers into accepting aftermarket toner cartridges. The lawsuit was filed in the eastern district of Kentucky. Lexmark is the No. 2 printer maker in the United States, behind Hewlett-Packard, and manufactures printers under the Dell Computer brand.