Uma equipe de cientistas (e muitos, muitos advogados) foram recrutados
pela HP para proteger seu "monopólio das tintas". A HP tem mais de 4 mil
patentes na área, e mais de 80% de seu lucro operacional de $5.6 bilhões
vem desse segmento. E ela não está nada feliz com a concorrência...
"H-P's ink-cartridge business acts as a powerful annuity for the
company. The technology titan, which has a market share of 50 percent in
the U.S. and more than 4,000 patents on its ink formulations and
cartridge design, often sells its printers at a loss, then essentially
locks customers in when they have to repeatedly come back to buy
replacement ink cartridges. In fiscal 2005, H-P made more than 80
percent of its $5.6 billion in operating profit from ink and toner
supplies, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
To protect this franchise, increasingly under attack from rivals, H-P
could sue any ink makers it suspects are infringing on its patents. This
month, it sued China's G&G Ninestar Image Co., a cartridge manufacturer,
alleging G&G had violated seven H-P patents in cartridge design. The
complaint also targets four online retailers. (...)
New competitors such as Cartridge World, Caboodle Cartridge Inc. and
Rapid Refill Ink International Corp. refill empty ink cartridges made by
H-P and others, and sell them at discounted prices of as much as 50
percent off a new cartridge in locations such as malls or downtown stores.
"A lot of people come into the ink marketplace with some assumptions
that there really isn't a lot of technology" in ink, says Tuan Tran, a
vice president of marketing in H-P's printing business. "We want to
remind them that there is a lot of technology that goes into formulations."
Such a reminder often comes in court, where H-P is used to defending its
patents on various products. In 2003, it launched a wide effort to
protect its intellectual property and profit from its 33,000 patents
through technology-licensing deals."
Nelson Corrêa de Toledo Ferraz
Segula Technologies (www.segula.fr)
Free Software Foundation Associate Member #3203
Sociedade Perl do Brasil (www.perl.org.br)
Rede Livre de Compartilhamento de Cultura Digital
PSL-Brasil mailing list
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