Firmware FAQ

Lexmark Firmware Updates and Return Program Agreement- Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I upgrade my firmware?

There are a couple of reasons. First, upgrading your firmware will improve the overall performance of your printer. It can add new features and help it operate faster and more efficiently. It will also fix any firmware or hardware bugs that have been identified. Most importantly, most firmware updates provide security enhancements to protect your device and network from malware and other threats.

2. Why does Lexmark release firmware updates for Lexmark printers?

Like other printing systems manufacturers, Lexmark regularly provides important firmware updates for Lexmark printers. These updates, among other things, ensure optimum product performance, and help protect your device and network from the latest security threats. Ultimately, these updates aim to extend the life of your Lexmark devices and help ensure your existing devices continue to meet your IT needs.

In addition, Lexmark periodically releases firmware updates to maintain over time the effectiveness of the advanced technical protective measures contained in Lexmark printers (see Question 3), to ensure that they continue to serve their purpose (see Question 4).

3. Are Lexmark printers equipped with advanced technical protective measures?

Yes. Similar to other printing system manufacturers, Lexmark equips its printers with advanced technical protective measures. These measures are built-in in Lexmark printers at the manufacturing stage and may be updated periodically through the release of firmware updates.

4. What is the aim of the advanced technical protective measures contained in Lexmark printers?

The advanced technical protective measures contained in Lexmark printers are aimed at enforcing the terms of the Lexmark Return Program Agreement (see question 6) and at protecting your printer as well as Lexmark’s intellectual property rights from circumvention by cartridge counterfeiters and third-party chip developers. For these purposes the advanced technical protective measures contained in Lexmark printers aim to disable the printer if a counterfeited or unauthorized third-party cartridge is detected.

5. How do the advanced technical protective measures contained in Lexmark printers work?

The advanced technical protective measures contained in Lexmark printers aim to disable the printer if a counterfeited or unauthorized third-party cartridge is detected (see question 8).

Conversely, Lexmark’s advanced technical protective measures do not interfere with the functioning of cartridges that are authorized for use in Lexmark printers (see Questions 6 and 7).

6. What are Lexmark Return Program cartridges?

Lexmark Return Program cartridges are sold at a discount versus the prices of Lexmark Regular cartridges in exchange for the customer’s agreement to use the cartridge only once and return it to Lexmark for remanufacturing or recycling. Therefore, the security chip in these cartridges may not be reset or reused. These cartridges will stop working after reaching end of the rated life as established by Lexmark (a variable amount of toner may remain when replacement is required). These cartridges may also automatically update the printer memory to protect it from counterfeit or unauthorized products.

These are terms of the Lexmark Return Program Agreement that you accept when you purchase the printer and install the Return Program cartridge. Click here for more information on the Lexmark Return Program

7. What are Lexmark Regular cartridges?

Lexmark Regular cartridges are sold at regular prices and without the agreement terms that characterizes Lexmark Return Program cartridges.

These cartridges may be refilled and/or remanufactured (as long as the original Lexmark chip is kept) and will stop working after (I.e., be considered empty) upon reaching the end of the rated life as established by Lexmark (a variable amount of toner may remain when replacement is required).

8. What types of cartridges are not authorized to work in Lexmark printers?

A Lexmark Return Program cartridge that has been remanufactured by a third party in violation of the single-use agreement under which the cartridge was originally sold is not authorized to work in a Lexmark printer. In addition, cartridges that violate the agreement that you entered into with Lexmark when you purchased your printer, counterfeit cartridges and/or unauthorized compatible cartridges that violate Lexmark’s intellectual property rights are not authorized to work in a Lexmark printer.

9. Will the download of a firmware update interfere with the operation of my printer cartridge?

As mentioned above (see Questions 1 and 2), firmware updates are mostly aimed at enhancing your printer’s performance.

However, firmware updates may also maintain the effectiveness of the advanced technical protective measures in your printer’s firmware, with the result that the printer may be disabled if counterfeited or unauthorized third-party cartridges are detected, including those that previously worked.

If you are using either (a) Lexmark genuine Return Program cartridges or (b) new or refilled/remanufactured Lexmark Regular cartridges (as long as the original Lexmark chip is kept), the firmware update will in no way interfere with your use of your device.

10. Can I uninstall the firmware from my printer?

Firmware is a program that is necessary for a printer to function. The firmware controls the basic functions of a unit and operates as a layer between the printer and the driver. The firmware is stored in your printer and can only be overwritten with a newer version. Lexmark supports only the latest version of the firmware code. This means that Lexmark will not remove firmware from your device or roll back the firmware to a prior version.

Note: Printer drivers and printer firmware are not the same. Printer drivers are operating system drivers which are stored on a computer’s hard drive.

11. I want the firmware in my printer restored to the level it was at prior to the service action that upgraded the firmware in my printer.

Lexmark only offers and supports the most current level of firmware code for our printers, and, as mentioned (see Question 10) Lexmark does not roll back the firmware of the printer to a prior version.

In order to ensure that Lexmark technical support engineers provide customers the most comprehensive level of service in the shortest amount of time, it is important that we avoid trying to diagnose issues that may have already been fixed in new code releases. Thus, as an early step in our diagnostic process, we may advise a customer having problems to upgrade to our most current level of firmware code.

12. Didn’t the U.S. Supreme Court rule that Lexmark could no longer enforce its patent rights associated with remanufactured cartridges?

Although the Supreme Court ruling primarily addressed post-sale enforcement of patent rights, it did not impact the enforceability of contractual restrictions such as those in the Return Program Agreement (see Question 7 above).

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