Nothing irritates me more than carefully prepared propaganda that is designed specifically to miss-inform and miss-represent industry information for the purpose of benefiting those who have their own agendas. It's transparent of course to those in the know and potentially influential to those that are not, but seeking to learn.
Fact is, there is a lot on nonsense written and said about the industry by those who try and prosper from the falsehoods they propagate.
Let's take one claim that is repeated time and time again, as a blatant example. "Every cartridge coming out of China is a clone, and patent infringing". Sound familiar? Some media and some western remanufacturing companies would like to influence every reseller, dealer or wholesaler who buy imaging cartridges for resale that it is true. Why? Because they fear losing business to Chinese imported products and the best defense they can think of is to say "everything from China is clone, patent infringing and legally very risky, don't buy them"
Fact is of course that this blanket statement is simply untrue. It is false, fake news. But the truth about imaging products exported from China to the West, does not help their cause. Much better to try and scaremonger and create false impressions so that existing customers remain loyal and prices remain stable.
So let's clear this off the table once and for all. To say that every imaging cartridge imported from China is a clone and patent infringing "is a lie. That is not the case. There are some, a few, world-class companies within our industry who have made huge investments to build unique patent portfolios who have successfully designed and produced alternative new built patent safe imaging cartridges that are a legitimate alternative to an OEM original or a remanufactured product. They are not clones, they are not patent infringing and by virtue that they are not a remanufactured cartridge they do not have a high empty cartridge cost in the bill of materials as do remanufactured cartridges. Consistently high quality and a lower price point than remanufactured products, but patent safe. That is a winning combination that seriously worries the competition, and rightly so. That is why the fake news is created.
This of course does not mean all imaging cartridges imported from China are this way. That is not true either. It is probable that 90% of companies that export imaging cartridges into US and European markets are infringing and are seen as "copies" of the OEM. These companies should be sued by the patent holder and hopefully they will be. But it is so much easier, to create a false impression that everything from China is bad.
The term "clone" is like a returning bad penny that you seem never to get rid of. The term is not understood by the media who use it to scaremonger and create sensational headlines. But the term is deserved for a new built cartridge that is a replica of the OEM in all respects. So it follows that if a new built cartridge is not an exact replica of the original OEM it is not a clone. After market toners are not cloned toners, as often reported, since many differences are evident in the formulations, which for the most part are "secret recipes" rather than patented formulations anyway. Patents that exist in the toner area are more to do with how it is manufactured than the finished toner powder itself, and when looking at the toner powder , how can you tell if it was manufactured in a way that infringed someone's patent.
Fake news is probably here to stay. When the facts don't suit the argument, sell fake news. It seems like a new way to play make believe that has become somehow acceptable. It's like telling lies convincingly, some will be fooled but not everyone will be fooled all the time.
The third choice is here to stay. 1. OEM originals, 2. Remanufactured, and 3. New built patent safe alternatives. The pros and cons of each will win or lose customers. But the facts will prevail not the fake news. New built, cheaper, patent safe imaging cartridges could see the aftermarket double their market share within 5 years. That volume increase will come from the OEM's and the remanufacturers who do not transition. They have no answers, are seriously worried and with some desperation create a false picture.