This Week in Imaging: The Cost of Cyber-Crime Hits Home for Nuance; New ‘Patent Troll’ on the Block?

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

Ouch. While we’ve heard plenty about the increasing threat of cyber crime from companies such as HP Inc., Xerox, and others, there’s nothing like seeing some cold hard numbers – in this instance, about $15 million – to drive home how much cyber crime can cost victims.

In this case, this week, Nuance Communications – which sells document-capture, workflow, and print-management solutions, as well as voice-recognition solutions – reported third-quarter revenue of $486.2 million. But it also estimated that, if it hadn’t had to deal with the NotPetya malware incident in June, its third-quarter revenue would have been $501.6 million – costing it some $15.4 million.

(In a very condensed description, the NotPetya malware lifts network administrator credentials from a network PC, encrypts files, and then issues a ransom demand to restore access to those files.)

For its part, Nuance says it’s been repairing the effects of NotPetya, bringing its hospital clients back online, and last month restored its transcription platform and imaging systems.

But the effects of the malware attack aren’t over, with Nuance stating that the attack will have a “material financial impact” on its fourth-quarter results, and the financial effects will continue next year. Overall, it expects a $65 million to $75 million hit to its revenue and about $0.13 in per-share earnings losses.

Meanwhile, it seems we have a new “patent troll” on the block. While there hasn’t been much action from the notorious MPHJ Technology Investments lately*, a new firm out of California, Commercial Copy Innovations, has been filing patent-infringement lawsuits against a growing list of printer/MFP companies – from Xerox, to Lexmark, to Ricoh, and Brother – with the alleged infringement related to patents that Commercial Copy purchased from Eastman Kodak, and which involve: inkjet printing, toner printing, and s Web-connected printer/copier user interface.

Commercial Copy Innovations is actually a subsidiary of WiLan of Ontario, Canada. In December 2016, Commercial Copy Innovations purchased a number of Kodak printing-technology patents. And at that time, WiLAN President and CEO Jim Skippen remarked (perhaps ominously): “We are pleased to be selected by Kodak to acquire this important portfolio. Kodak’s brand is synonymous with innovation, and we look forward to realizing a return on our investment in this portfolio and their significant R&D efforts.”

(*The latest news concerning MPHJ Technology Investments was in February 2017, and was good news for the printer industry. In February 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Court ruled against MPHJ Technology Investments, with the court siding with an earlier decision, agreeing that various MPHJ asserted patents for scanning were invalid. Earlier in 2016, a federal court had ruled in a case brought by HP Inc. that all but one of 15 asserted MPHJ patents were invalid.

Also in February 2017, a federal court upheld a ruling that MPHJ’s patent for scanning a document and sending it attached to an email message as a PDF was invalid – essentially finding that the patent technology was already in use as scan-and-send-to-email had been described in a 1985 Xerox user manual and was actually patented by Xerox in 1996.)

Office-Imaging News

Alexa, Please Scan this Document to the Cloud: Xerox Voice Recognition for Copier/MFPs – Read more here.

Lexmark Introduces ‘Fleet Intelligence’ MPS Program for Resellers  – Read more here.

New uniFLOW 2018 LTS Features Support for USB-Connected Canon Document Scanners, Stronger Reporting, More – Read more here.

Developing New Apps for Samsung’s Smart UX 2.0 Center – Read more here.

New HP Desktop OfficeJet Pro 7720/7720 with 11″x17″ Printing, Smart App for Mobile Printing, and More – Read more here.

Financial News

Revenues Up, But Profits Down for Brother’s First Quarter – Read more here.

Higher Revenue for Nuance’s Third Quarter, Despite Malware Incident – Read more here.

Kodak Reports $4 Million in Second-Quarter Net Earnings, ‘Stronger Performance in Growth Products’ – Read more here.

Other News

Average Copier-Channel Service & Operations Manager Salary is $85,154 – Read more here.

Lexmark to Lay Off Some 700 Members of its Global Workforce – Read more here.

Legal Briefs

Commercial Copy Adds Brother to Growing Number of Companies it’s Suing for Patent Infringement – Read more here.

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July 2017

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