May 20, 2013
Executive Chairman of cartridge franchise believes business will see growth, particularly in emerging economies.
An article on The Star sees Rod Young, Executive Chairman and Global Chief Executive of Cartridge World Inc., being interviewed on the future of the ink and toner refill retail business, which he says has much room for growth.
Despite noting that in Malaysia 80 percent of the market uses OEM cartridges and Cartridge World’s market share is just a “fraction of one percent”, Young believes that the business will do well in emerging economies and that there is growth potential. Since 2006, Cartridge World has opened eight stores in the country, with plans to open a further 15 stores by the end of the year and 32 stores within the next three to four years, focusing mainly in the Klang Valley.
“It’s been fairly modest growth in the early years in Malaysia as we have been establishing the business, changing the technology, sourcing the products and servicing the market,” said Young. “Now that we’ve proven that the business model is working we’re expanding to that targeted 32 stores.”
In the US meanwhile, Cartridge World “represents 25 percent of the market of refilling stores and still have the opportunity to grow five times there”, according to Young, who added that the franchise is hoping to have 2,500 stores by 2018.
Speaking of the business itself, Young claims that it has “helped companies save between 30 percent and 40 percent printing cost by appropriate choice of printers and cartridges”; and explained how the franchise is split into two main divisions – the retail stores that provide refilling and collection services, and more passive retailing involving advising businesses on how to save printing costs.
Young also commented on how Cartridge World is overcoming the issue of OEM chips used to link cartridges online in order to track ink usage: “Technology is always changing and the chips were designed specifically to prevents ink refilling at Cartridge World […] But we’ve developed new chipping technology and remanufactured the cartridges.”
In terms of the franchise’s workforce, Young emphasises the importance of employing “quality people who are going to be ambassadors of our brand […] We don’t want people to buy themselves a job, these are serious operations […] We are looking for motivated operators who see the opportunity this business brings to them and want to build an asset for the future or their families. It’s not our job to make them successful”.
Young went on to discuss the future of franchising, believing that there is a “strong entrepreneurial demand” globally and there will be increasing growth in franchising as people become more informed about brands and consumerism. The article also claims that “franchising is three to five times more successful than if a person went into a business on their own”; with Young noting that “the biggest brands in the world are built through franchising”.
He added: “We find that independent operators are having greater difficult to build brand with the complexity of business and media […] While branded franchise networks are attracting more potential entrepreneurs.”
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May 16, 2013
Courthouse News Service reports that the 9th Circuit rejected an award of over $2 million (€1.5 million) in attorneys’ fees and costs for lawyers involved in a class action settlement regarding HP inkjet printers, with the federal appeals court in San Francisco finding that a lower court had incorrectly calculated the fees, resulting in a settlement that gave the plaintiffs coupons valued between $2 million and $6 million (€4.6 million).
Three proposed class actions had been filed against HP by 2007 claiming that the OEM had misled consumers by duping customers into buying replacement cartridges before they needed to, neglecting to inform customers that its printers combined colours from ink cartridges to print black and white text (known as “underprinting”), and hiding the fact that some of its cartridges had expiration dates.
A $6 million settlement was approved by US District Judge Jeremy Fogel in 2010, with HP ordered to make disclosures about its printers, hand out up to $5 million (€3.8 million) in e-credits for its products, and pay a further $1 million (€777,000)in notice and administration costs.
Attorneys’ fees and costs of $2 million were also approved by the District Court – significantly less than the $7 million (€5.4 million) in bills class counsel submitted and the $3 million (€2.3 million) eventually requested by the lawyers.
Despite the settlement being objected to “on a number of grounds”, the 9th Circuit only investigated the objection regarding attorneys’ fees, with the question coming down to “differing interpretations of Section 3 of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), which sets down specific rules for calculating fees and costs in class-action cases where the lawyers get cash and the plaintiffs get a coupon”.
Judge Milan Smith explained that “when a settlement provides for coupon relief […] any attorney’s fee that is attributable to the award of coupons must be calculated using the redemption value of the coupons.” However, the lower court was found to have estimated the value of the settlement at around $1.5 million (€1.1 million), with Smith noting that it recognised “that it would be improper to award fees that outstrip the calculated benefit.”
The ruling states that as the district court awarded fees “attributable to the coupon relief” but “failed to first calculate the redemption value of those coupons”, its orders were reversed.
However, Judge Marsha Berzon objected to the ruling, claiming that “CAFA allows the use of a lodestar to calculate attorney’s fees on the basis of hours reasonably expended on the class action as a whole, rather than as a percentage of the value of the class recover,’ whether coupons are involved or not, adding, “The limit CAFA imposes with regard to cases in which there is a coupon recovery is a limit on the district court’s method of calculating percentage-of-recovery fees, should it choose that approach.”
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May 14, 2013
The Guardian reported that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ruled in favour of Monsanto in its case against Vernon Bowman, a farmer from Indiana, in the case concerning soybeans sold to the farmer. The battle saw Monsanto fighting for the right to impose “post-sale restrictions on the use of its patented products”, which would have a knock-on effect for all forms of remanufacturing.
The Recycler previously reported on the “chilling” effects such a ruling could have on the US cartridge remanufacturing industry, with the I’ITC supporting Bowman alongside two car remanufacturing associations with a “friend of the court brief”, asking for the first appeal ruling to be overruled.
The case concerned the sale of soybean seeds to farmers that contain genetically-altered materials patented by farmers, with the seeds sold by the company “subject to a technology agreement”, meaning that replanting seeds grown from plants that came from the original seeds would be infringing the company’s patents.
The seeds could be sold however, and Bowman bought some and planted them, and in effect, because he had not signed a technology agreement, he was of the belief that Monsanto “could not allege that he violated its technology agreement”. However, Monsanto argued the prohibition imposed on the purchaser of the original seeds is applicable to all other users or buyers of said seeds, so Bowman is liable for patent infringement despite the fact he was not party to the original agreement.
The implications are that a manufacturer of a patented product could “include restrictive language” in documents to “prevent certain uses of the product” as well as to “limit or deny the right of all subsequent owners of the product to resell, repair or refurbish that product”. In turn, any patent holder “could effectively dictate […] how, when and where the product could be used and reused”.
The unanimous ruling, the Guardian added, saw nine justices agree, with Kagan noting that “patent exhaustion does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission.
“In the case at hand, Bowman planted Monsanto’s patented soybeans solely to make and market replicas of them, thus depriving the company of the reward patent law provides for the sale of each article. Patent exhaustion provides no haven for that conduct. We accordingly affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit”.
Monsanto responded to the ruling by claiming it would help shore up the US patent system, and encourage greater innovation, with its General Counsel David Snively noting: “The Court’s ruling today ensures that longstanding principles of patent law apply to breakthrough 21st century technologies that are central to meeting the growing demands of our planet and its people.
“The ruling also provides assurance to all inventors throughout the public and private sectors that they can and should continue to invest in innovation that feeds people, improves lives, creates jobs, and allows America to keep its competitive edge.”
What do you think about this latest decision in the USA? Do you think it will drastically affect remanufacturing there? Let us know in the comments below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Categories : Rank 2
May 13, 2013
De Angelis, who has more than 25 years of IT experience, previously worked as Director of Technology at HP, as well as Technology Executive at Nielson Ratings Corporation, and his role at Static Control will be to help implement the company’s global business initiatives.
De Angelis, whose new role is effective from 6 May, stated: “I look forward to working with Static Control’s dedicated team to continue our growth worldwide.” In turn, the company’s Founder and CEO, Ed Swartz, noted that the company is “extremely pleased Anthony has chosen to join us, even more so at this particular time as we are rapidly growing our global operations”.
Swartz added in turn that Static will “continue to seek out the best and brightest talent and Anthony will be a great asset to our team”.
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May 10, 2013
The decision by Kodak to cancel its agreement to sell certain assets of its Digital Imaging business to Brother is a result of the OEM entering into an alternative agreement to sell both its Document Imaging business and Personalised Imaging business to the UK Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) for a sum of $650 million (€498.5 million).
In addition, the new agreement between Kodak and KPP is set to settle approximately $2.8 billion (€2.1 billion) of claims made against Kodak and a number of its affiliates by KPP.
Kodak’s agreement with Brother, announced on 15 April, would have seen the company selling its Document Imaging business for a price of $210 million (€161 million). While Kodak CEO Antonio M. Perez had commented that “a sale to Brother, should they prevail, would represent an excellent outcome for Document Imaging’s customers, partners and employees”, the OEM had stated that the agreement was subject to court approval and a marketing period in which Kodak may try to obtain a higher offer for the business.
Brother has stated that it will “consider its actions while it observes the development of this case”; maintaining that it “remains committed to its policy to execute strategic investments for M&A and business alliances in each business segment and region to achieve its mid-to long-term corporate vision, ‘Global Vision 21’” and that it “is determined to carry forward this policy more actively”.
Kodak recently announced its post-bankruptcy plans for the coming year, including the sale of its film and printing businesses to its UK pension fund and a new strategy to focus on selling printing equipment and services to businesses. The company also reported first quarter profits of $283 million (€214.5 million).
Categories : Rank 2
May 9, 2013
New larger premises enables better functioning of store as it changes its name to Cartridge Europe.
Dutch news website Veluweland.nl reports on the expansion of a cartridge refilling and office supplies store in Assendorperstraat, which is in the process of moving to a new site a few doors down seeking “more space and opportunities”.
Shop owner Jan Willem van Dorp explained that the current store “is just too small because of the changes in recent times. In the beginning, people had to wait on filling their cartridge. Now we have all different kinds of stock in-store. This requires space”.
Van Dorp added that the introduction of three devices to the store has meant that cartridges can be “very carefully cleaned”, with the business employing a member of staff specifically focused on performing the task so that customers no longer have to wait a whole day for a refilled cartridge, but instead the already cleaned cartridge can be refilled “within a minute”.
With the new store, van Dorp hopes to allow customers to see the refilled process so that “people also understand how the refilled cartridge is created, how much time it takes and what they pay for”.
Further explaining the reasons for the move, van Dorp said: “Of course especially for space. Another big advantage is that there [is] better parking is available. Customers and companies also come from far outside the region, and will be able to find [the store] better.
“The wider facade gives more opportunities for the presentation of articles. I also get more and more demand for office related [products] that we will end up with a modest range […] Also we specialize more in paper. This paper [in] A4 and A3, we want to sell 20 pieces so that people do not immediately need 500 sheets.”
Van Dorp noted the impact that the increasing numbers of new printers on the market has on his cartridge refilling business, explaining that “you have to constantly retrain and [have] many parts in stock, which makes it expensive to do it yourself”. As a result, the company now orders specific toners from a company in Slovakia that specialises in refilling original toner cartridges so that it is not all down to his staff to make all of the toners customers require, “thus I still offer good service and give advice when purchasing new toners”.
Commenting on the store’s name change in January from Cartridge World to Cartridge Europe, van Dorp said: “To have been involved in franchise organization Cartridge World after years connected [to] The Netherlands, I wanted to continue as an independent: Jan Willem. Together with four other colleagues from Cartridge World we have continued under a new name.
“We help each other and collectively we exploit the financial benefits such as joint purchasing of products. So now I can decide what I want with my shop myself! For the rest, nothing changes. We still involve everything from the same suppliers. Conclusion: you as a consumer will not notice!”
Categories : Rank 2
May 8, 2013
Developing countries are opposing attempts by electronic equipment manufacturers from industrialised countries to make repairable e-waste exempt from trade controls designed to prevent the exportation of hazardous waste.
The manufacturers were represented by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and industrialised powers including the EU, US, Japan and Canada; which refused to agree to a draft guideline presented at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention over a Guideline on Transboundary Movement of e-waste in Geneva.
The guideline proposed that “used equipment that is not tested and functional would be considered waste and, if hazardous, would trigger the Basel Convention control procedures requiring at a minimum that all exports of hazardous electronic waste be notified to importing countries, and receive consent prior to shipment”.
It is reported that the industrialised countries wanted the guideline to include major exemptions regarding equipment going for repair, claiming that without lifting the current hazardous waste controls, reuse of used equipment would be inhibited.
However, developing countries argued that by doing so they would be unable to prevent a disproportionate burden of the world’s toxic hardware from being transferred to developing countries after toxic parts were discarded, and that countries would be able to use the “repair” claim to justify dumping with little evidence that the equipment was in fact repairable.
“Already, developing countries cannot control the junk electronic computers, faxes, printers and TVs flooding into their countries from North America and Europe, all in the name of ‘helping the poor’ and ‘bridging the digital divide’,” said Jim Puckett, Executive Director of the Basel Action Network. “Industrial countries are treating the rest of the world as a digital dump. It is no wonder developing countries do not appreciate industry proposals to make matters worse.”
Puckett added that the repairing of electronics “is a good thing of course”, but expressed concerns that “repair can generate wastes when parts are replaced. And without controls, anyone can always make a claim that anything is repairable no matter what the intention. Thus in no way can we just blow kisses and say bon voyage to shipments of e-waste, based on empty repair promises. We still need the international rules provided by the Basel Convention.”
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May 3, 2013
The survey by BusinessWaste.co.uk found that businesses are either “filling landfill sites” or “resorting to illegal activity” to dispose of rubbish, rather than recycling any of their waste. The 80 percent of companies have “no green policy in place and do not separate recyclable waste from non-recyclable”, with the survey finding that some will not even sort paper, food and glass waste.
The separation of such waste is imposed on a domestic level in the UK, with rubbish lorries collecting different waste segregated into separate bins, but businesses do not take the same approach. Among the most common things not recycled include printer cartridges, as well as paper, cardboard, plastics, electrical waste and computers, and green waste for composting.
The survey also found that some companies “are prepare dot break the law in order to reduce or eliminate their waste-handling costs”, with BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Recycling Manager Jonathan Ratcliffe stating: “We’re well aware that some companies will still fly-tip in this day-and-age, but we’ve found some smaller businesses prepared to admit that they dispose of their waste at the household tip while posing as a member of the public.
“It’s a dangerous game – companies that breach their waste management duty of care face unlimited fines if they get caught.”
Ratcliffe added of the survey results: “It reflects very badly upon us as a nation. Other countries have forged ahead with commercial recycling, but a high proportion of UK companies seemingly can’t be bothered and contribute to the 228m tons of waste we produce every year.
“Landfill is both wasteful and expensive, and businesses are hitting themselves in the bank balance because of their inability or unwillingness to recycle. It’s not a great step implementing a green policy, and it saves money almost from the start.”
Ratcliffe concluded positively that the government in the UK is “incentivising green policies and recycling through tax breaks for energy efficiency”, with a landfill tax penalising companies “that do not recycle their waste”. He added that “at £72 [$111/€85] per ton going to landfill, it soon adds up for companies that don’t recycle”, noting that BusinessWaste.co.uk “is committed to the vision of a zero-waste, 100% recycled economy. We do our best to help our clients reduce their waste bills”.
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May 1, 2013
BBC News reports that China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), used to measure manufacturing activity, fell from 50.9 to 50.6 in March, with a sub-index of export orders also falling amid a weak global demand.
While China has relied on its manufacturing and export sector to drive economic growth, the country has seen growth in these areas drop recently as demand from the US and the Eurozone decreases, with 2012 seeing the growth rate in China drop to its lowest levels in 13 years despite the country attempting to encourage expansion in key sectors such as manufacturing.
China’s economy did expand by an annual rate of 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 2013, but slightly less than the previous quarter’s rate of 7.9 percent; and analysts have warned that the growth could slow further in the coming quarters as export markets continue to suffer economic problems.
Zhang Liqun, an economist at the Development Research Centre in Beijing, said: “The dip in April PMI shows that the foundation for China’s economic recovery is still not solid […] We must work to stabilise domestic demand and make our economic recovery more sustainable.”
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April 30, 2013
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Swiss confectionary company Nestle has lost its fight against a company that makes and sells coffee capsules for refilling Nespresso coffee machines, which was accused by Nestle of infringing patents relating to its refill packs.
It was ruled that UK-based Dualit Ltd.’s products do not infringe Nestle’s patents, with Judge Richard Arnold stating that Nespresso customers “would assume that they were entitled to obtain capsules to use with the machine from whatever source they pleased”.
The case mirrors another reported last year involving Nestle and two companies that sold the coffee capsules in Germany, with Dusseldorf regional court ruling against Nestle’s accusations of patent infringement for the same reasons as the court in the UK, adding that the capsules were essential to the functioning of the Nespresso machine and were neither a key part or feature.
The Recycler’s David Connett noted in his blog post on the subject that “there are very obviously strong synergies in the concept of coffee machine and pods and printers and cartridges” but warned the aftermarket to “be very cautious because this decision is only valid in Germany and does not set any precedents for the printer market where very strong IP and case law exists”.
Nestle reportedly sold around $4.2 billion (€3.2 billion) worth of Nespresso products in 2012, but claims that its revenue is under threat from competitors selling coffee capsules for its machines. Diane Duperret, a spokesperson for Nestle, argued that the judgement “is inconsistent with the ruling by the European Patent Office in April 2012, confirming the validity of a key patent for the Nespresso system”.
Nestle is no longer reporting its sales details due to “the competitive environment”, and suffered its slowest first quarter sales growth since 2009, with the company expecting full-year revenue to be at the lower end of its forecast.
The Recycler reported last week on another patent infringement case, in which it was ruled that a company manufacturing and selling a plastic bottle for use in an IDC container did not infringe the patents of the original manufacturer of IDC containers, as the bottle was deemed a subsidiary part of the overall product. It was also noted that customers would expect the bottle to need replacing due to having a shorter lifespan than the metal cage it slotted into.
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