It’s in Their DNA5 Nov, 2013 By: David Gibbons
Following the general exclusion order (GEO) granted to Canon in June, China’s cartridge remanufacturing giant, Print-Rite, has taken the uncommon approach to get its US-based customers to meet with US Customs.
The US market is too important to them—as it is to countless others—to just pack up and walk away. China gave the world papermaking, ink, block printing and many other ingenious imaging inventions. “Inventiveness” is in the culture, and in the very DNA of these industrious people. So when market forces change direction, they will discover new products, new methods, and new work around solutions.
This latest move is a classic example.
The clone invasion these last 4-5 years, also illustrates this. The market demand for cheaper, compatible print consumables drove them to find alternative supply solutions, and clones were among the results. This strategy is not one the industry should endorse, because it blatantly abuses the intellectual property of the OEMs. Our plea to buyers (who create the demand) as well as manufacturers (who create the supply) is to desist from the production and marketing of clones.
Canon requested the International Trade Commission (ITC)—which is expected to protect trade entering the US against such patent infringing products—issue a GEO that shuts everyone in the world out of this market. Even those not listed on the ITC complaint are banned—not just patent-infringing clones.
Ahead of the impending action, Print-Rite designed, patented and produced its own legitimate drum gear coupling, as did some others. However, it took additional steps to ensure its proprietary components would not be blocked—because it’s in their DNA to do so.
In an exclusive interview, Steven Adkins—their patent lawyer specializing in Section 337 investigations before the ITC and at US Customs—explained to me Print-Rite has taken unusual steps to deliver what he calls an “iron-clad” solution for their US customers.
Adkins set up meetings between Print-Rite’s customers—some of whom flew across the country—and Customs officials. Customs confirmed that so long as they imported Print-Rite product into the US, using the patented, trade-marked product, there would be no problem. (*You can watch my interview with Steve Adkins on our website).
In my view, such “inventiveness” DNA is in all of us, meaning we can model our business strategies, and think more “outside of the box.”
David Gibbons is an Australian who has been a school principal, TV and radio broadcaster, and has also run his own imaging supplies business. He is currently based in Zhuhai, China as a Director of Recycling Times Media in publishing, broadcasting and events. Visit http://www.irecyclingtimes.com