Kodak Faces Lawsuit From Ink Supplier
ROCHESTER, NY—Eastman Kodak may have exited bankruptcy protection, but its legal issues are continuing. Collins Inkjet, one of its former suppliers, has filed a federal suit against Kodak, alleging the company is illegally suppressing competition, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.
Kodak and Collins are the sole suppliers of inkjet inks for the Kodak Versamark line. The suit alleges Kodak is trying to muscle out Cincinnati-based Collins by telling Versamark users that getting their printheads refurbished will cost more if they use inks not made by Kodak. It further contends Kodak has threatened customers with "slow or no refurbished printheads" if the customers continue using Collins ink.
Collins contends that tying the purchase of Kodak Versamark printheads to Kodak's ink violates the federal Sherman Antitrust Act, the newspaper reported. The company is seeking a court order prohibiting Kodak from linking the sale of its printheads to using Kodak inks exclusively, and from raising the price of refurbishing printheads to those customers who opt to use Collins ink on their Versamark machines.
In court papers, Collins reports that Versamark inks account for roughly 70 percent of its output.
This is the latest litigation between Collins and Kodak. They were embroiled in a lawsuit in 2011 when Collins tried to prematurely exit its contract to supply Kodak with Versamark inks.