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 user 2006-12-11 at 12:48:00 pm Views: 33
  • #17201

    have thought long and hard about how or if to present this one. Seems
    that there is a significant change on the horizion. And that may a
    severe understatement. Lexmark has been aggressive in its business
    practices, making it both a market innovator and a competitive nemesis
    to Hewlett Packard’s printer business. Years ago they tested the legal
    waters with the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) challenge to a
    competitor’s foray into the toner cartridge market. You may recall that
    in 2002, North Carolina-based Static Control Components (SCC) was sued
    by Lexmark under the DCMA for reverse engineering a chip to allow
    others’ entry into the toner cartridge business. Lexmark had cleverly
    engineered electronics that would not allow competitors’ toners from
    working. Lexmark tried to stop it, and the Supreme Court has ruled
    against Lexmark.

    Lexmark’s attorneys probably were bruised by
    this defeat, but apparently have used their acquired legal savvy to
    concoct an even more frightening restriction in their current product
    lines. Typically we dont discern problems or issues with products until
    they have been installed long enough to emerge. This is a doozy. It
    appears to apply to any of their OEM versions also (IBM, Unisys,
    SourceTech, Dell, et. al.). The three main electronic components;
    control panel, interconnect board and motherboard, all register
    themselves with oneanother upon initial installation. When one of those
    parts needs to be replaced, one is forced to buy an “un-registered” one
    from the OEM – We can’t sell aftermarket parts without corrupting the
    whole machine. This is a killer in the offing. And we cannot claim
    damages until after we have sustained them, putting this loss into the
    future sometime.

    This is the citation from the Service Guide:”Warning: When replacing any one of the following components:
    • Operator panel assembly (or upper front cover)
    • System board assembly
    • Interconnect card assembly

    replace one component at a time. Replace the required component and
    perform a POR before replacing a second component listed above. If this
    procedure is not followed, the printer will be rendered inoperable.
    Never replace two or more of the components listed above without a POR
    after installing each one or the printer will be rendered inoperable.
    Never install and remove components listed above as a method of
    troubleshooting components.Once a component has been installed in a
    printer, it can not be used in another printer. It must bereturned to
    the manufacturer.”
    I would assume that Lexmark understands patent
    law, DCMA, and other ramifications of this move, but it will certainly
    put a hurt on the myriad of parts resellers that currently trade in
    used Lexmark and their OEM printers. Lexmark gains a very strong
    position in its unique ability to offer maintenance agreements,
    shutting out potential third party maintainers as well as competition
    from other suppliers. It will have an enormous effect.We, therefore,
    strongly suggest that users not upgrade to the the current IBM and
    Lexmark printer products, but instead focus on perpetuating their
    network uniformity with second generation offerings.I’m sure this is an
    issue which will be debated and discussed further as it becomes more

    I have mentioned this several times with varying degrees
    of acceptance, but the days of cheap and abundant equipment are waning.
    There are several machine types, models , parts, and features which are
    tightening. Capital investment to replace infrastructure, aka durable
    goods, has been down for some time and we expect this to be reflected
    in net supply of gear in the marketplace. I dont expect this to be
    severe, but it does suggest a squeeze on prices in a normally
    deflationary market.We have accumulated a “bad-guy” list of people and
    companies who have displayed less than honest behavior, but we don’t
    really have an effective way to publish this without potential for my
    own exposure to lawsuits. Anyone have any ideas how e can protect each
    other from these rascals?I am pleased to announce that Rachel Dworkin
    has been promoted to outside sales representative. She’ll be focusing
    on after-sale support of supplies and machines.

    David T. Mendelson
    Argecy Computer Corporation
    27280 Haggerty Road C21
    Farmington Hills, MI 48331
    248-324-1800 x122
    248-324-1900 fax