Nov 29, 2011
In October, HP announced a new ink delivery pilot service, Instant Ink, and aÂ pilot with Condé Nast for digital content distribution for some of their magazines.Â Instant Ink will automatically deliver replacement original HP ink to customers at home or work when needed for HP’s newest announced ePrinters. HP estimates that users can receive up to 50% annual savings on ink cartridge purchases for one monthly fee. Read more »
Nov 25, 2011
While times have been tough for offset printing equipment suppliers in recent years it still came as a surprise that manroland has filed for insolvency protection (the German equivalent of Chapter 11) on the 25th of November. The announcement came only one day after reports that negotiations with a potential investor failed.
In a statement issued on its website manroland confirmed that it had been forced to initiate insolvency proceedings following a “dramatic downturn in incoming orders” since July. The company has filed a request at the local magistrate for self-administration in order to finalise its on-going restructuring efforts as a “debtor in possession,” a court-appointed lawyer will act as general representative during the time of restructuring, while the company’s situations and options are evaluated.
While several offset press vendors have exited the market in the last decade (InfoTrends not long ago reported on the state of the offset press manufacturing industry), the insolvency of manroland gives the decline in offset press manufacturing a new dimension. To put these proceedings into perspective: the insolvency of manroland is the biggest insolvency of any kind in Germany for the last two years, despite many companies having been hit by the financial crisis. It is affecting a company, which has been in business for more than 160 years and survived two world wars and the transition from letterpress to offset. Read more »
Thanksgiving morning I go out to get the newspaper, which normally can be found midway up the driveway where the delivery guy heaves it from the street. To my amazement, it’s sitting on my doorstep and I do a doubletake because it looks suspiciously like the Sunday paper. It’s humongous. As I pick it up I see why it wasn’t thrown. It’s oozing with inserts and weighs a ton. The delivery guy would have separated his shoulder if he had thrown it. I bring it inside, groggily checking the wall calendar to be sure that it’s Thursday (not Sunday). It soon dawns on me that tomorrow is Black Friday, the biggest retail shopping day of the year, and therefore Thanksgiving, when most people have time to settle in with a newspaper and its advertisements, is most probably the biggest day of the year for newspaper insert printers.
Black Friday newspaper inserts from the Boston Globe
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Nov 24, 2011
On a recent business trip to the Far East I was discussing the new ‘business as usual’ with clients – consumer expenditure restrained (Thomas Cook is a timely reminder), cost conscious decision making in the public sector, corporateÂ and SME arenas, an ever strengthening focus on environmental sustainability, security concerns and mobility front of mind for IT. I was however surprised at the number of questions I received regarding the implications of the Eurozone crisis for business conditions. On my return to the UK I received similar questions out of the US. On reflection, my business as usual explanation did not explicitly address this topic, although itÂ had beenÂ factored in.
I believe that what we have seen in Europe over the last couple of years will be the nature of things for the foreseeable future, barring a major event. The economic and political uncertainty is largely responsible for the current stock market, consumer, business and media sentiment.Â Read more »
Nov 18, 2011
Henry Stewart held its second annual Customer and Marketing Analytics conference in downtown Boston last week from November 10-11. The theme of this year’s conference was “The Strategies, Plans, and Execution Techniques for Aligning Performance with Corporate Goals”. Throughout day one of the event, marketing experts and technology representatives spoke of their experiences, mistakes, and solutions that have brought them success. Five key messages Read more »
Nov 16, 2011
In September, the International Trade Commission issued a notice to terminate the investigation in Certain Toner Cartridges and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-740) with a finding of a violation of Section 337. The Commission further determined to issue a general exclusion order (GEO) and cease and desist orders (CDOs). A GEO prohibits the unlicensed entry into the U.S. of toner cartridges and components that infringe certain claims of the asserted Lexmark patents by any company. CDOs are directed at the domestically-based respondents that defaulted and foreign-based defaulting respondents which produce the same result in that these companies cannot import or sell the affected products into the United States either. Â In the world of ITC complaints this decision by the ITC could be viewed as a “slam dunk.”Â Read more »
Last week Canon announced its plans to acquire Showa Information Systems (SIS), a Japanese manufacturer of high-end printing systems. If the acquisition goes as Canon expects it to, the deal will involve the purchase of around 12 million shares at a price of 200 yen per share. This would make the total sale more than 2.4 billion yen or about $31 million. Canon expects the share acquisition to be completed around May of 2012. Canon has already concluded an agreement with Showa Information Systems’ largest shareholder (Mars Engineering Corporation), which owns about 26% of SIS.
SIS was established in 1973 and has been active in the development of Japanese language processing technologies for office printers, including what it describes as the world’s first kanji printer. With its SX series of printers it has also competed in high-speed continuous-feed printers for the data center printing. A key strength is its proprietary controller, whose technology may also be used for languages that use two-byte characters. Canon hopes to leverage this capability first in China.
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Nov 15, 2011
Two news services reported that South Korea’s state trade commission acquitted local laser printer parts companies of violating patent rights claimed by Canon Inc. regarding gears for photoconductor drums used in toner cartridges. The decision was reached after a review of claims made by all companies involved, as well as onsite inspections and technical evaluations by independent experts, according to the Korea Trade Commission (KTC). Canon had hoped that the KTC would stop the companies from manufacturing and exporting the drums which Canon considered to infringe for aftermarket use. Read more »
Nov 14, 2011
I got an e-mail from AlphaPicture on Veterans Day (Friday November 11, 2011) with the title “What you should think of on the 11/11/11 … ;-)”. It was a promotion making note of the fact that 11+11+11+11=44, with forty-four being the number of days until Christmas. The e-mail’s purpose was to promote personalized photographic Christmas-themed motifs.
AlphaPicture Christmas promotion
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Nov 11, 2011
In October, the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a notice of final determination finding a violation of Section 337, issuing a general exclusion order (GEO), and terminating the investigation in Certain Inkjet Cartridges with Printheads and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-723). With this general exclusion, three major vendors, HP, Epson, and Lexmark, now have general exclusion orders to help curb primarily new build products entering the United States from any source that affect certain claims of their supplies patents. The table below details all of these complaints with patents and products affected. Read more »