Ninestar Discusses Lexmark Acquisition; Aims to be ‘One Stop Provider’ for Printer Industry
China-based maker of alternative-OEM printer cartridges Ninestar, which is a subsidiary of Apex Technology (which, last year, along with PAG Capital, purchased Lexmark International for some $3.6 billion) recently discussed Apex’s purchase of Lexmark.
Ninestar notes that the acquisition of Lexmark is the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese company. Praising its management – Ninestar says its “top management has consistently made the right decisions at exactly the right moment,” and that management “continues to make the impossible happen,” Ninestar says much of its strength lies in its intellectual property (IP) portfolio, and that it has “successfully applied” some 1,600 patents.
The firm notes the case of Chinese company Huawei, which “managed to profit with making huge investment to R&D and patents, which made Huawei a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider” – is one of the factors that led to the Lexmark acquisition. As with Huawei, Ninestar says it’s also invested much in IP and patent technology, and that this one of the “important reasons” behind the Lexmark acquisition.
Ninestar Printer-Cartridge Patent History
Ninestar notes that in 2011, Chinese custom officials seized a shipment of 46,200 compatible inkjet cartridges, based on allegations that the cartridges infringed upon Ninestar’s patents. This was the first case in China’s aftermarket printer-supplies market in which a compatible-consumables manufacturer was the party whose patents had been infringed upon. The firm says that many other manufacturers have copied Ninestar’s cartridge technologies and products.
Ninestar says that from 2000 to 2003, it developed air-control valve patented cartridge technology, and that this became one of the “most stable non-sponge pressure controlling methods” in the cartridge aftermarket. In 2004, Ninestar developed a patented seal that it says is widely used in compatible inkjet cartridges for Epson, HP, and Brother International printers.
Four years later, Ninestar developed simulate sensor chip for Epson printers. It says this piezoelectric inkjet sensor “has since lost its monopoly in the aftermarket.” In 2011, it developed patented pressure-control technology for HP950 alternative inkjet cartridges. It says that this patented technology paved the way for pressurized inkjet cartridges. In 2012, it developed patented chip technology that “emits light by ignoring ID information for Canon ink cartridges” – a technology that it says doesn’t infringe upon Canon patents, and “avoids any potential litigation.” In 2013, it developed patented chip technology that enables the chip to test short circuits.
In 2006, Ninestar released the first patented toner cartridges, the TN-350, for Brother International printers. After years of development, Ninestar says it developed patented products for all of Brother’s models “with more stability and better user experience.” Ninestar’s products were not affected by Brother’s legal actions in Germany in 2016. In 2011, Ninestar says it developed patented, non-twisted gear technology to improve overall printing performance.
During 2012 and 2013, Samsung took legal actions against compatible consumables manufacturers for infringing upon its 409′, ‘4072, ‘406, and ‘404 patents for its CLP310/320/360 printers. Ninestar then released patented products for Samsung that “were favored and recognized by the industry.” In 2014, it developed patented dongle gear for Canon laser printers “to ensure stability and lower printing costs.” Overall, Ninestar states that these achievements “resulted from Ninestar’s dedication and investment in its own patent technology.”
Ninestar concludes that these patents represent “only the tip of the iceberg.” For any company, intellectual property (IP) “usually requires huge amounts of manpower, materials and financial resources.” Ultimately, it says “there’s good reason for Ninestar to respect third parties’ IP and protect its own.”
In the future, Ninestar says will continue to offer customers better quality products and aims to be a leading one-stop solution provider in the printing industry.
- December 2016: Apex Technology Says Lexmark Acquisition Will Help it Create Global Printer Empire
- November 2016: It’s Official: Lexmark Acquired by Apex and Investors; Reeder Named CEO
- October 2016: Revenues Flat for Lexmark as Apex Technology Acquisition on the Horizon