On Demand Machine Corp. president Bruce Baebler said the company is "still digesting" the March 31 appeals court decision overturning a lower court ruling that found that Ingram and Lightning Source had infringed an ODMC patent in building their print-on-demand manufacturing operation.

In reversing the original verdict, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said that if the jury had been given the correct construction of the patent, it would not have found Lightning guilty of infringement. In its decision, the court said that Ross's patent focused on a machine that printed books one at a time in a retail location, a process substantially different from Lightning's full-scale manufacturing operation. With the reversal, the $15-million damage award against Lightning was vacated.

Baebler said that while ODMC is still deciding whether to appeal the court decision, the company is moving forward with a response to the ruling by the U.S. Patent Office that rejected ODMC's patent claims. The court, Baebler noted, "didn't find the patent invalid."

The ODMC lawsuit had been viewed by many in the POD world as a possible impediment to the growth of the industry since it raised the possibility of higher costs. "We are thrilled that the court validated our position," said Kirby Best, president of Lightning Source.