Consumers counting the cost of IP uncertainty
A survey conducted by PRP Solutions has revealed that companies may be missing out on printer consumable savings because of uncertainty over IP safety.
The survey has shown that the average saving for consumers buying OEM alternative replacement cartridges would be up to 30 %, but only if the complete range of alternative products was offered. Many companies producing compatible products have gaps in their ranges because of concerns over potential patent infringements.
However, a few ‘serious suppliers’ of aftermarket consumables – like PRP Solutions – have the design and engineering excellence to counter OEM patents with their own engineering solutions. They develop their own mechanism for the identical module, which operates around the area of the originally protected intellectual power. This makes the new engineering solution IP-safe and not infringing the originally protected idea – the patent.
This IP-safe approach becomes even more attractive in the light of recent revelations highlighting how individual OEM players are trying to push back the boundaries of their originally protected intellectual property. The scope of achievements originally described in their patents can be extended to include the area of new engineering solutions. The new reading of the patent would then mean that reputable suppliers might be found infringing a patent!
Commenting on these findings, Head of Marketing at PRP Solutions, Manuel Pereira says: “I consider this amounts to a misuse of a good principal by OEMs to protect their own interests, irrespective of the resulting restrictive effects on competition and welfare. Once again, the end consumer is the one who ultimately suffers. The route PRP Solutions has taken in developing and protecting its own design solutions, is the safe option for compatible producers and their customers.”