August 15-31, 2004 Edition

Lightning Source

Wins Partial Victory

In On Demand Case

ST. LOUIS, MO/08/03/04—A judge on July 23 cleared the way for Lightning Source to file an appeal in its lawsuit with plaintiff, On Demand Machine. On Demand had requested a preliminary injunction against Lightning Source which would essentially have shut down Lightning’s print on demand operations. The judge also denied On Demand’s request for triple damages and legal fees.

About five months ago, a St. Louis court ordered Lightning Source to pay $15 million to the On Demand start-up company, a ruling Lightning already planned to appeal, according to its attorney David Roland, who says Lightning and the law firm will see the case through until the end.

The original lawsuit was brought against Lightning in 2001 by Harvey Ross, an engineer who patented the computer-based book manufacturing system in 1995. Ross died in 2002, but On Demand has continued litigation. Last winter a jury ruled that Lightning, parent company Ingram Industries and had infringed On Demand’s patent by developing their own POD system. If the ruling is upheld, it could demand that fees be paid to On Demand Machine every time a book is printed using the method.