Inkjet Wholesale News aims to provide updates on the latest significant occurrences in the field of printing. Whether it’s the launch of a new technology or volatility of market prices, we’ll be here to give you the lowdown on what happened, when it happened, and what it means!
Why Should You Be Following the Impression Products vs. Lexmark Case?
The Impression Products vs. Lexmark case has garnered a lot of media attention in the last few months. Countless technology publications, whether digital or physical, have focused on this on-going David vs. Goliath battle. We’ve also reported on the Impression Products vs. Lexmark case earlier in September.
Most people probably read about the Impression Products vs. Lexmark case and gloss over its significance as just another patent infringement claim. In fact, when you read about the Impression Products vs. Lexmark case on our blog earlier, you probably didn’t attach much importance to it either. However, what most people don’t realise is that the outcome of the Impression Products vs. Lexmark case may have a major impact on every consumer in the world. How? Let us explain.
The first thing to understand is what the case is about and what Lexmark is trying to achieve from the case. Lexmark has patented its laser toner cartridge technology in various forms which includes everything from the toner to the components used inside the cartridge. Usually patent infringement lawsuits are about the company holding technology patents preventing a third party from using the same technology in manufacturing their own products.
What this means is that if someone was to try to reverse engineer some Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEMs) cartridge or even printing technology and then sell the resulting products commercially, then that person could be brought to court. It’s true that aftermarket manufacturers have found a way around this problem by developing their own cartridge or printing technology completely from scratch, the actual act isn’t easy because any overlap in layout or technologies used can result in a patent infringement claim. In case you’re wondering, this is how compatible or generic cartridges are made available.
However, the Impression Products vs. Lexmark case isn’t a conventional patent infringement case. It is more nuanced. Here, Lexmark wants to restrict its cartridges to a single use via the patents they hold.
This is being done to prevent Lexmark toner cartridges from being reused through remanufacturing or refilling.
This is a post-sale usage restriction that has, till recently, never been allowed on any product to any manufacturer, regardless of which industry is relevant. Lexmark’s angle of protecting its patents aside, this case has ramifications in general on all consumers and products.
For instance, if Lexmark wins this case, then other manufacturers can cite their patents to slap on similar kinds of restrictions on the reuse of their products. Imagine a situation where a knife manufacturer puts the restriction against sharpening that knife with a whetstone at home. All high end chefs and some enterprising homeowners have whetstones at home which they use to sharpen their knives.
Another example could be a fabric manufacturer restricting its buyers from only getting the outfit tailored from a specific tailoring outlet. The only thing they would have to do is find a way to get something about their fabric patented. The ramifications are even more potent with the Internet of Things on the horizon. As even the simplest of devices at home become “smart”, these kinds of post-sale restrictions can lead to business monopolies of various kinds. More important, even a limited monopoly over a product will result in lack of competition which would, in turn, cause poor quality products and high prices.
This is the main reason why the presiding council decided to open the case up from arguments to the common public. It is also the reason why numerous companies, activist organisations, and individuals have come forth to argue for one side or another. In fact, written arguments have been submitted by interested parties from unrelated industries over the case. So, it can be said that you need to follow the Impression Products vs. Lexmark case because how it pans out may define what you buy and how you use it in the future.
HP Looking To Expand Into the Indian Market through Mobile Printing
There is a lot of news coming out of HP, as can be expected, with the technology giant’s impending split just around the corner.
The huge company is set to be broken into two entities in the coming month with the two new companies being called HP Inc. and HP Enterprise.
As is the case with any kind of organisational restructuring, new information is gradually released owing to changing strategies and revising targets.
In this case, information on focus on Instant Ink Service, emphasis on Graphics Packaging Industry, update of Enterprise Printer Security, and significant job layoffs have all been released by the company in preparation for the upcoming split. In fact, the speed with which information is being released by the company has only increased, whether it is about its overall strategy or market specific goals.
The latest in these market specific goals revealed by HP is that the company is looking to leverage the new Digital India initiative of the South East Asian country to expand its turnover in the region. Specifically, HP India wants to give its printer sales a boost by using the Indian government’s drive towards digitising the country’s environment.
At the centre of HP’s India focused strategy will be mobile printing, an area that is yet to be fully tapped into in the country. Along with this, HP also has plans to establish a manufacturing unit within the nation’s borders which also dovetails with the Indian Prime Minister’s “Make in India” initiative targeting foreign investors.
According to Leong Han Kong Vice President of Printing Systems of HP Asia – Pacific Japan, the first priority of the company in India will be to make people aware of all the emerging mobile printing technologies and their respective applications. Mobile printing is one of the major driving factors of the printing industry globally which is probably why it is being targeted by the technology giant.
The technology giant has been making all the right noises about the Digital India initiative from various quarters for as far back as April this year. In the last month, the company also released a new series of printers and scanners in the country based on its much vaunted JetIntelligence technology. These printers also carry HP’s recently upgraded enterprise level security features designed to automatically detect and remedy security breaches.