Defending OEM Brands Globally

Defending OEM Brands Globally

Defending OEM Brands Globally

—Lexmark’s Global Brand Manager, Andrew Gardner, is the newly appointed chairman of the Imaging Supplies Council (ISC) which is a non-profit trade association of printer OEMs including Brother , Canon, Epson, HP, Lexmark and Xerox. He talked to RT’s David Gibbons about why it’s important to combat illegal activities in the imaging supplies industry.

Defending OEM Brands Globally

David:  Lexmark is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. What has been key to the company’s success?

Andrew: From the very beginning, customers have been our focus, and remain so today. Lexmark’s vision statement, We help our customers make a lasting impression on their world, directs our day-to-day purpose.  Our ability to move quickly, be responsive and meet customer priorities as they evolve, has driven our success. Advances in print, imaging and digital technology are transforming how our customers work. We are proud that our hardware and software solutions leadership have kept pace with that ongoing transformation.

David: Why have you always been so passionate about defending the Lexmark brand globally?

Andrew: At Lexmark, we’re passionate about our products and our brand.  It’s my job to support and defend the Lexmark brand globally.   Our customers and channel partners count on us to provide high quality, genuine Lexmark supplies and parts. My mission is to protect them from inferior, trademark-infringing counterfeit toner cartridges and patent-infringing compatible cartridges.  Lexmark’s Brand Protection program uses a variety of methods—from on-the-ground investigations to online monitoring and cloud-based tools—to ensure a level playing field for our partners.   We’re doing everything we can to guarantee that illegal cartridges are not available in the marketplace.

David: Which is the greater problem: counterfeit or patent-infringing imaging supplies?

Andrew: It depends—the issue really varies by geographic region.  Typically, we find counterfeit cartridges in eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia; by contrast, patent-infringing compatible cartridges tend to be available all over the world.  Lexmark aggressively defends against both types of illegal cartridges.  We work with customs and law enforcement agencies around the world to address counterfeiting.  While intellectual property coverage varies by country, Lexmark has repeatedly addressed patent infringement via civil legal action. We’ve also enforced our intellectual property rights at major trade shows, including Remanexpo in Frankfurt and RemaxWorld Expo in Zhuhai.

David: How does a purchaser know they are buying a genuine Lexmark cartridge?

Andrew: If you think the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Be familiar with Lexmark market prices before making a purchase. Make sure you buy products only from Lexmark or an authorized reseller. Packaging that appears to have been tampered with, resealed, contains spelling mistakes, or looks reused may not be the genuine product. We use security labels to help identify genuine Lexmark products.

Visit <> to authenticate security labels and cartridge serial numbers.  For additional information on other printer brands, visit the ISC and ICCE websites.

David: Why have you taken such a serious responsibility with ICCE and ISC?

Andrew: The members of both organizations—the ICCE in Europe, and the ISC in the US—are committed to fighting counterfeit and fraudulent activities. We’re all in the same boat: we want to safeguard our channel partners and customers.

I’ve been very fortunate to work with a group of committed, like-minded brand protection professionals.  These trade organizations give the printer OEMs a forum to share best practices, coordinate advocacy activities, and develop relationships with law enforcement.  They also allow us to present a united front against common brand protection-related issues in our industry.  It’s a real privilege to participate in both groups and to help guide their activities. ■

** This article, “Defending OEM Brands Globally,” is published on page 35 of RT ImagingWorld magazine which can be downloaded for free.

David Gibbons has 45 years of experience, knowledge and skills in business (management, consultancy, strategic planning) and communication (teaching, event management, fundraising, journalism, broadcasting and new/digital media—social, website, app development). He started and ran a successful cartridge remanufacturing business in Sydney and was also the Executive Officer of the Australasian Cartridge Remanufacturers’ Association for 7 years.

In 2011, Gibbons relocated to RT Media in Zhuhai, China where he has been a director responsible for strategic planning, senior management, event planning, marketing, broadcasting and magazine publishing on behalf of the global imaging supplies industry. He is certainly aware of the challenges of remanufacturing in China.

His other blogs include:

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