The Aftermarket needs to keep calm and not be agitated by the “jungle of patents” the OEMs hold over their chip technologies.
So says ChipJet’s Donis Zhang who was responding to the hot issue about the spate of OEM firmware upgrades that have been locking consumers out from using compatible cartridges in their printers.
“Innovation is key if the Aftermarket is to continue supplying technologies that will work,” Zhang told the 200 industry leaders gathered in Zhuhai, China, also known as the world center for printing consumables.
With 20 years experience in the field of SOC chip development, Zhang is deputy director and senior product manager at Hangzhou Chipjet Technology Co.
“The demand for uniquely designed chips has increased ten-fold—from just 100,000 unit designs in 2007—to more than one million unit designs in 2016.” Zhang reminded the RemaxWorld Summit audience there was no encryption used in chips back in 2003. The need to intensify the technology grew rapidly, firstly with DES and EDES encryption technologies and in more recent times using AES, RSA and ECC encryption algorithms.
OEMs have always needed to control their markets and chips provided that solution. The further development of chip technology to keep in front of the Aftermarket and the wrongful and illegal practices of the counterfeiting market has created that demand. Legal battles over intellectual property rights (IP) and firmware upgrades by the OEMs over the last 12-18 months proves that the OEMs want to keep control of this sector.
Zhang urges there should be rational competition for a “win-win” co-existence between OEMs and the Aftermarket. However, in order to keep pace with the OEMs, the Aftermarket has needed to invest heavily in R&D. What would have taken just a few months of work to research and develop a non-infringing compatible chip ten years ago, now can take more than two years.