Stand Up, Speak Up For the Industry!


Many good causes have an international day. April 26 has become the day every year where the planet celebrates innovation and creativity.

World Intellectual Property Day was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 to “raise awareness of how patents, copyrights, trademarks and designs impact our daily life” and to celebrate “the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe.”

Anyone knowing anything about the print consumables industry is aware that intellectual property is an unavoidable topic in this area. OEMs have become more diligent in recent times, filing lawsuits against aftermarket players to protect their investments and revenue streams. Similarly, the aftermarket fights for its right for permissible repair and developing non-infringing solutions which can give consumers choice. Despite the existence of blatant infringers, the aftermarket industry, generally, is seeing more and more investment in innovation and creativity. The Chinese based Print-Rite alone has developed more than 2,000 patents of its own in the past 20 years. The aftermarket knows full well the foolishness of not taking IP issues seriously.

RT Media sees a strong symbiotic relationship between OEMs and the aftermarket. Truly, if it weren’t for the OEMs and their incredible products that have revolutionized the way we do hard copy (remember office typewriter pools just 30 years ago?), there would be no aftermarket. They have every reason to protect the research and development and their own intellectual property rights. Any serious minded aftermarket player would applaud the OEMs for their innovation and for raising the bar, but also embrace the challenge find non-infringing, competitive solutions.

Both remanufactured and new-built supplies have the potential to be infringing or non-infringing. So the inaccurate and disparaging “clone” term—often used to describe ALL aftermarket cartridges other than remanufactured—should be avoided. Putting fear into consumers with misleading propaganda is wrong.

On this World Intellectual Property Day, we honor those companies and individuals who innovate and create, and also to those who choose to respect the intellectual property rights of others. We honor those who fight hard—like patent attorney Ed OConnor who is challenging the restrictive Jazz Photo and Mallinckrodt laws in the US—to see bad laws changed to provide consistency, fairness and less confusion with patent rights. We also denounce the wrongful, illegal and harmful practices of making, distributing and selling of counterfeit cartridges.

RT Media is pleased to announce its own “RT IP Week” (#RTipweek) campaign to raise the awareness of IP rights. You are invited to comment on this very issue on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter platforms.

Stand up and Speak Up!


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