The Week in Imaging: Memjet, HP Call Truce; ‘Large Format’ Versus ‘Wide Format’?

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Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

There was lots of industry news this week, with the breakdown by topic roughly as follows: inkjet: 3 articles (HP Inc./Memjet, Epson, Epson); acquisitions: 2 articles (HP Inc., Collins Inkjet); company reorganization: 2 articles (Xerox, Sharp, Staples); toner-based printers/MFPs: 2 articles (Lexmark, OKI Data); 3D printing 2: articles (HP Inc., HP Inc.); and solutions: 1 article (Konica Minolta)

This tally seems to reflect the state of changes in the industry in a nutshell: consolidation, inkjet (office and production), and reorganization.


As far as inkjet is concerned, in a move sure to please everyone except maybe the lawyers, Memjet and HP Inc. have agreed to end their page-wide inkjet-printing patent-litigation dispute. Both parties claimed to hold exclusive patents for page-wide inkjet printing, which together they’ve deployed in office printers and MFPs, envelope printers, wide-format printers, and more, with Memjet OEMing the technology to various partners (all of whom are likely breathing sighs of relief). Memjet began the proceedings last summer with a lawsuit filed in San Diego, California, against HP. But as we’ve discussed before, the truth in the matter is probably that both companies’ technology was independently but concurrently developed. We also witnessed a demonstration of page-wide inkjet printing at Canon Inc. in Japan in the early 1990s. Memjet also reports that it and HP have entered into a cross-licensing agreement, but there’s no word on just what it may entail.

Epson keeps rolling along with the introduction of three “large-format” inkjet printers. There are printers defined by the size of the cut sheets that they can print on, such as A4, A3, and Super B sizes. Then presumably any printer that can print larger than Super B is “wide format?” What about printers that can print on a sheet of plywood? Are those “large format?” I suppose not, if the new Epson printers are designated as such. So what is the definition of “large format?” There must be some distinction between the ability to handle cut-sheets and roll media. However, we tested a Canon imagePROGRAF “wide format” printer that could print on both types of media.

Legal Briefings

  • It’s Over: Memjet and HP Agree to Settle Page-Wide Inkjet Printing Patent Dispute – Read more here.

Office-Imaging News

  • Lexmark Taking on A3 with Latest A4 MFPs, Including 60-PPM XC8160 – Read more here.
  • Xerox Files Form 10 as it Prepares for Company Split – Read more here.
  • Nakayama is New President of Sharp Business Solutions Company – Read more here.
  • Konica Minolta Releases Latest Version of Dispatcher Phoenix with New Web Interface, More – Read more here.
  • Lexmark Signs Distribution Deal with Spigraph for U.K., France, Germany – Read more here.

Market News

  • IDC: India Printer-MFP Market Down 2.2 Percent in First-Quarter 2016; HP Remains Leader – Read more here.

3D-Printing News

  • HP Blog: HP and Jabil, a 3D-Printing Partnership to Revolutionize 3D Printing – Read more here.
  • HP Acquiring David Company’s 3D-Scanning Solutions – Read more here.

Other News

  • Staples Reportedly Considering Leaving U.K. after Failed Office Depot Merger – Read more here.
  • Kodak, Alibaba, Create New eCommerce Company eApeiron – Read more here.

Commercial- and Production-Printing News

  • Epson Expands SureColor Large-Format Color Inkjet Printer Family with Three New Models – Read more here.
  • EFI Launches New Fiery Controller for OKI C900 Series Production Printers – Read more here.

Acquisitions

  • Japan’s Kao Acquires Collins Inkjet – Read more here.

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April 2016

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