HP reaches two legal settlements

HP announced late last year two settlement agreements that represent successful efforts to defend and protect its intellectual property (IP).

HP and Asia Pacific Microsystems, Inc. (APM) of Taiwan reached an amicable worldwide patent settlement to resolve ongoing patent litigation relating to HP’s inkjet print cartridges. As part of the settlement, APM, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corporation, acknowledged manufacturing infringing print cartridge components for a variety of customers and took immediate steps to halt production of the infringing components. According to the patent professor ” The sale of a company’s product is directly proportional to the status and the integrity of its brand name.” Hence filing for a patent as soon as the concept is set into motion should be the first step of any organization regardless of the scale it operates in. As a result, HP agreed to dismiss APM from a pending patent infringement case in federal court in California. The allegations on HP is cannot be taken easily as the brand coming to target can result in it losing its market client.

HP also reached a comprehensive settlement agreement with LD Products, Inc. of California, a prominent online seller of aftermarket cartridges, regarding allegations by HP with respect to the sale of misidentified ink and toner cartridges and infringing ink cartridges. As part of the settlement, LD Products has agreed to change its sales practices with regards to selling aftermarket cartridges for HP printers, and additionally has agreed to cease the sale of a range of infringing inkjet ink cartridges.

“HP has always put a high premium on R&D – investing in technology that improves the overall experience for our customers. We are committed to protecting our brand and our customers,” said Matt Barkley, program manager, Worldwide IP and Brand Protection, Printing and Supplies, HP. “In order to protect our innovations, the superior quality of our products, and by extension, our customers, we will continue to defend our IP.”

These settlements are representative of HP’s ongoing efforts to protect its IP, as well as ensure a fair and transparent marketplace. HP also has been involved in vigorous IP protection actions in Brazil, Poland and Spain, where ligation, settlements and regular monitoring are ongoing.

Details of the HP/Asia Pacific Microsystems settlement

The APM settlement is based on litigation filed by HP with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) as well as in the California Federal District Court, alleging the sale and distribution of infringing inkjet print cartridges in the United States. The ITC ruled that the HP patents were valid and that APM was guilty of patent infringement as both a contributory infringer and by inducement.

The ITC also ruled that MicroJet Technology Co.—a subsidiary of Taiwan-based DB-Tel Incorporated and customer of APM—infringed HP’s patents in the manufacturing and/or sale of inkjet print cartridges. The ITC issued a General Exclusion Order (GEO) directing the U.S. Customs Service to exclude all infringing articles, without regard to source.

Details of the HP/LD Products settlement

HP took issue with LD Products for selling HP compatible clone cartridges labeled as “remanufactured” on both LD Product’s and third-party websites. After several requests to cease and desist, and involved discussions between the companies, HP filed litigation in the California Federal District Court alleging multiple illegal acts under the federal Lanham Act, which prohibits trademark infringement, trademark dilution and false advertising, as well as violation of California state law for unfair competition and false advertising.

As part of the settlement agreement, LD Products has agreed to a structured plan governing how it describes and sells newly built and remanufactured print cartridges, and to cease the practice of selling misidentified products. Additionally, LD Products has compensated HP for a portion of its legal costs.

The second part of the agreement resolved allegations of patent infringement by HP against LD Products for sales of infringing inkjet cartridges. LD Products admitted that the HP patents are valid and enforceable and has agreed to immediately cease the sale of the infringing products and destroy remaining infringing inventory.

As a result of the two agreements, HP and LD Products have agreed to dismiss the pending claims against one another before the US federal District Court in California.

(1) The settlement covers a number of cartridges, including HP 02, HP 81, HP 88, HP 564, HP 920, HP 932, HP 933, HP 940, HP 950, HP 951 and HP 970. In countries outside of the United States, these cartridges may be known by different product numbers.

Source: www.opi.net

By Wendy Knowler for Herald Live

Credit card fraud has been rapidly outpacing all other forms of bank fraud in recent months, with many older people being sweet-talked by fraudsters posing as bank officials into revealing their one-time-password (OTP) over the phone.

The Ombudsman for Banking Services, Reana Steyn, issued a warning about the alarming trend, revealing that 58% of the bank clients who complained about falling victim to credit card fraud in the past three months were older than 61 and 11% were older than 80.

“Not long ago credit card fraud was number five in our list of complaint categories, and now it’s number two, comprising 19,45% of all complaints,” Steyn said.

“That’s up from about 12% in December. At this rate it will soon overtake internet banking fraud to occupy the top spot.”

In a typical scenario, a bank client gets a call from a fraudster claiming to be phoning from their bank. In most cases, the fraudster already has the person’s credit card number.

The fraudster has gone onto an online shopping site – two of their favourites are Takealot and Foschini, Steyn said – and, poised to buy with victim’s credit card, they convince them that in order to help the bank prevent them from falling victim to fraud, they must please read out the OTP which has been sent to them via SMS.

The victim complies, and then the shopping begins.

The fraudsters also con people into believing that the bank will give them extra bank loyalty rewards points if they answer a few questions, Steyn said.

In the process of that Q&A, they’re asked for their OTP.

In one case, a fraudster asked a woman if she would like to convert her bank rewards points into cash. With that benefit in mind, she read out her OTP.

Alarmed at getting similar calls on the same day, she phoned her bank, but had already been defrauded of R11,200.

“Credit card fraud is a growing concern as banking systems increase in speed and efficiency,” Steyn said. “At the same time, fraudsters apply more sophisticated tactics to defraud and rob customers of their hard-earned money and savings.

“All bank customers, particularly the elderly, need to be knowledgeable and vigilant about their preferred banking channels.”

What not to do:

  • Never share personal and confidential information with strangers over the phone.
  • Banks will never ask you to confirm your confidential information over the phone.
  • If you receive an OTP on your phone without having transacted yourself, it is likely that it is a fraudster who has used your personal information. Do not provide the OTP to anybody. Contact your bank immediately to alert them to the possibility that your information may have been compromised.

How to complain:

  • Lodge a formal, written complaint directly with your bank’s dispute resolution department.Ask for a complaint reference number from your bank.
  • Allow the bank 20 working days in which to respond to your complaint.
  • Obtain a written response from your bank and if you are not satisfied with the outcome, please log the complaint with the Ombudsman for Banking Services.

How rolling blackouts affected the economy

BankservAfrica’s monthly Economic Transaction Index (Beti), a broad indicator of the country’s economic health, showed that transactions declined by 0.4% from February to March.

“The March Beti declined across all measurement periods,” says Shergeran Naidoo, BankservAfrica’s head of stakeholder engagements, in a statement. Naidoo said the numbers are a clear indication of the “deteriorating state of the economy”.

According to a recent article in MoneyWeb,  Eskom’s load shedding in March hit the economy hard. Individual transactions increased in value but decreased in number during this period.

The standardised nominal value of the Beti was R875.7-billion while the average value per transaction was R8 444. This is the first nominal rise in 23 months, said Naidoo. This rise, however, is due to VAT refunds paid in March.

“Without the nearly R20-billion worth of VAT repayments paid into the National Payments System, the March Beti would have been worse off.”

By Jamie McKane for MyBroadband

A Vodacom customer contacted MyBroadband this week stating that their mobile data bundles were being depleted on a “Last In First Out” (LIFO) basis, which is in contravention of ICASA’s regulations which came into effect on 1 March 2019.

Among other requirements, these regulations require networks to deplete data on a “First In First Out” (FIFO) basis.

This means that your older data bundles should be used up before your newer bundles in order to optimise the amount of data eligible for rollover.

Depleting newer data bundles first means that the average expiry date of a customer’s rolled-over data balance becomes earlier.

The customer who contacted MyBroadband received a 20GB data bundle on 1 March 2019 and was left with 4.27GB of this bundle on 31 March 2019. On 1 April 2019, the customer then received a new 20GB data bundle.

According to the FIFO system, the bundle with a balance of 4.27GB should have been depleted first when usage occurred – but the new 20GB bundle which expired on 30 April began depleting instead.

MyBroadband contacted Vodacom for feedback on this case to determine whether this was an isolated incident or a possible failure to switch to the new rules.

Vodacom responds
Vodacom told MyBroadband that applying new systems in line with the regulations to its large customer base was a technical challenge.

“To meet the requirements of the regulations, Vodacom had to apply an order of consumption rule change to a base of over 40 million subscribers in addition to a number of other changes brought about by ICASA’s charter,” Vodacom stated.

“As one might expect with a complex and technical implementation of this magnitude – arguably one of the largest in Vodacom’s history – there will be some glitches.”

Vodacom said its technical team has worked tirelessly to resolve these when they arise and is currently investigating the case mentioned above.

“[The affected customer]’s case is an isolated incident that our technical team is currently investigating as all customers should have their data depleting according to the FIFO order of consumption rules,” Vodacom stated.

Vodacom added that its new data depletion system has already been implemented which automatically prevents out-of-bundle use.

Customers can also purchase Vodacom’s Data Refill product or set an out-of-bundle limit if they wish to retain connectivity after depleting their data bundle.

Behind the EskomSePush loadshedding app

Source: 2OceansVibe

Nowadays, load shedding is as much a part of South African culture as using “now-now” to indicate your time of arrival.

And it’s only going to get worse.

Which is why when we heard about load shedding app EskomSePush last year, we knew it was going to be big.

Now it looks like the rest of South Africa has caught up.

Moving on to MyBroadband for more on the guys behind the app, and the humble beginnings of what’s been called one of “South Africa’s favourites”.

In 2014, Herman Maritz and Dan Wells were working in the same office, building apps for banks. They both wanted to know when load-shedding was taking place so that they could plan around it.

To achieve this, they began using PushBullet – a service that allowed them to send themselves notifications when load-shedding began.

This service was soon extended to their friends and family, after which they spent a weekend writing the initial app – which they named EskomSePush.

The name was in part inspired by conference calls talking about “push notifications”.

“Some of these meetings had folks with Afrikaans accents and the word ‘Push’ always made our day,” he added.

“The name was definitely inspired by some of those banking folks. But simply put, it’s Push Notifications for Eskom. EskomSePush.”

Six weeks after the app was released, it had acquired over 100 000 users.

Since load shedding started up again last year, and again this year, and is probably only going to get worse, an app like this is bound to go from strength to strength.

As of March 28, 2019, EskomSePush had 1,2 million users.

Maritz and Wells have three pieces of advice for anybody hoping to create their own viral app.

Firstly, users should make simple choices – even if it hurts.

“When starting out you need to iterate fast to find out which ideas work best. This means some of the things you’ve built might not be perfect. But you need to try out a lot of things to see what works,” they said.

They added that when they started to encounter scaling issues, they looked at their original code and were heavily critical of it.

“But, even though we would approach the problem differently now, the code still runs,” said Maritz.

Secondly, patience is the key to success. When load shedding was suspended in 2015, Maritz thought the app would cease to be useful. Wells, however, decided to keep the servers running and we’re all really glad that he did.

The pair have now launched EskomSePush’s “Nearby Chat” feature which allows you to talk to other people in your area.

For those times when you aren’t sure if it’s load shedding or if you forgot to load electricity…

You can download the app here.

You can also find more tips and tricks for staying sane during load shedding here, and here.

By Crecey Kuyedzwa for Fin24 

Former white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe who had their land expropriated under the fast track land reform programme in the early 2000’s have accepted government’s offer of an interim payment of RTGS$53m (R238m at current exchange rates).

In 2000 Zimbabwe expropriated land from white commercial farmers without compensation and distributed it to landless black people and the connected elite, who now own multiple farms.

The country budgeted RTGS$53m in its 2019 national budget as compensation to the former farmers, and the offer has now been accepted by a union representing them. The compensation is for farm improvements.

Zimbabwe introduced a new currency called the RTGS$, or real-time gross settlement dollar, in February. One RTGS$ can buy R4.50, according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Monday morning.

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In a statement the Commercial Farmers Union said they had to accept the advanced interim payment as some farmers were in financial distress.

“As this is a limited fund, it is hoped that those who are not in financial distress do not take it up so as to maximise the effect on others not so fortunate.”

The total bill could run into billions and the Zimbabwean government is working with international financial institutions on how best to fund the compensation.

In its own statement on the issue, which was released over the weekend, the Zimbabwean government said by end of April 2019 the registration papers for beneficiary farmers would be complete and disbursements will commence.

Valuations for farm improvements are also expected to be completed by end of May 2019, reads the statement.

Expect temporary downtime at SARS

Source: Algoa FM

The South African Revenue Services (SARS) on Monday announced it will be migrating to a new hosting platform for its electronic services this month.

SARS said the “new and reliable platform” features the latest technology on the market, and includes a refresh of SARS’ hardware and software.

According to a statement, this is part of their journey towards digital transformation, which is expected to deliver a myriad of innovative solutions in support of their mandate to make it easy and safe for taxpayers to comply.

During the migration the following services will be affected:

  • SARS eFiling
  • eFiling app
  • e@syFile
  • Employer and SARS website

The Customs Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) gateway, which is the primary electronic channel used by Customs clients to communicate with SARS, will not be impacted.

Clients are encouraged to conclude all transactions on these systems well before the migration. However, urgent transactions that need to be made during this period can be done manually at all of their branches which will operate on normal hours.

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

Data shows that 2 out of 3 South African consumers participated in Black Friday shopping at some point, according to Isana Cordier, sector head for consumer goods and services, corporate and investment banking at ABSA.

ABSA card data indicates that, on average, every last Friday of the month consumers spend about 55% of purchases on groceries.

On Black Friday, however, this changes and durable goods make up about 20% of purchases.

“It, therefore, seems that consumers are holding back spending on those durable items to buy them on Black Friday. South Africans especially like to spend on electronics on Black Friday,” Cordier said at a recent consumer insights event hosted by ABSA in Cape Town.

Black Friday has become the biggest spending day of the year in the SA retail sector, with more than R3bn spent last year.

Another interesting trend for her is that, whereas Black Friday shopping in SA was initially mostly centred around Gauteng and the Western Cape, the “frenzy” has started to spread to other provinces as well.

For instance, the Eastern Cape now makes up about 7.2% of Black Friday spending in SA, KwaZulu-Natal 14.2% and the Free State 4.1%. Gauteng still accounts for 37% of spending in SA on Black Friday.

Fin24 reported last year that retail sales over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period most likely “saved” the South African economy in November, according to the BankservAfrica Economic Transaction Index (BETI).

On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a total of 5.2 million card transactions were recorded.

More significantly, according to the BETI report, there was 55% growth in online sales for Black Friday and 36.4% for Cyber Monday.

Top tips for workplace happiness

Many people think that if only they worked for a cooler company, had a different job or made more money they would then be happy at work.

But Linda Trim, director at Giant Leap, says that we should look to ourselves first for work happiness.

“The fundamental responsibility for being happy at work rests with the individual. You can be happier at work by following some simple ideas.”

These are her top tips:

1. Choose to be happy at work

Happiness is mostly a choice according to just about every expert. So you can choose to be happy at work. It sounds simple, but it’s often difficult to put into action.

“Think positively about your work. Dwell on the aspects that you enjoy. Find coworkers you like and spend your time with them. Your choices at work largely define your experience,” said Trim.

2. Only make commitments you can keep

One of the biggest causes of work stress and unhappiness is failing to keep commitments. Many employees spend more time making excuses for unkept commitments and worrying about the consequences than they do performing the tasks promised.

Create a system of organisation and planning that enables you to assess your ability to complete a requested commitment. “Don’t volunteer if you don’t have time. If your workload exceeds your available time and energy, make a comprehensive plan to ask for help and resources,” Trim advised.

3. Take charge of your personal & professional development

Said Trim:”You are the person with the most to gain from continuing to develop professionally so take charge of your own growth.” Ask for specific and meaningful help from your boss, but stick to your plans and goals.

4. Make sure you know what is happening at work

People often complain that they don’t receive enough information about what’s happening with their company, projects or coworkers. They wait for their boss to fill them up with knowledge. But the knowledge rarely comes. Why? “Because the boss is busy doing their job and doesn’t know what you don’t know. Seek out the information you need to work effectively. Develop an information network and use it,” Trim advised.

5. Ask for feedback often

Many people complain that their boss never gives me any feedback, so they never know how they are doing. “The truth is, “ said Trim, “you probably know exactly how you’re doing especially if you feel positive about your performance.” If you’re not positive about your work, think about improving and making a greater effort.
And then ask for feedback and and an assessment of your work.

6. Don’t be a neg-head

Choosing to be happy at work means avoiding negative conversations, gossip, and unhappy people as much as possible. No matter how positive you feel, negative people have a profound impact on your psyche. Don’t let the neg-heads bring you down.

7. Make friends

“One the best ways to be much happier at work is to have a best friend at work, “ said Trim. Enjoying your coworkers are good predictors of a positive and happy work experience. Take time to get to know them.

8. If all fails, searching for a new job will make you happy

If none of these ideas makes you happy at work, it’s time to re-evaluate your your job.
Most work environments don’t change all that much. But unhappy employees tend to grow even more disgruntled. “You can secretly smile while you spend all of your non-work time searching for a job, “ Trim concludes.

By Nivashni Nair for Times Live

Parents were dumbfounded when Roseland Primary School sent them a letter claiming it couldn’t afford to print their children’s reports.

The management of a Durban school may have skipped the logic class when it sent out notices to parents telling them that it’s too poor to print report cards.

“Why couldn’t they just print the report using the same paper and ink that they used for the letter?” one parent asked TimesLIVE.

In the letter dated March 12, the principal of Roseland Primary School in Newlands invited parents to school on April 11 from 4pm to 6pm to view their children’s academic progress.

“The school is unable to print any reports due to the financial constraints the school is faced with. We will not issue any information before 4pm. You may come to school to fetch a letter for your employer to dismiss you early on the date,” the principal Brenda Davids said.

The mother of a grade 5 pupil told TimesLIVE that she was in utter shock when she received the letter.

“I have never heard of a child not receiving a report,” she said.

She then started to question how the school management could afford to print letters to send home to every pupil and for parents to take to their employers but were unable to issue report cards.

“I can’t wrap my head around their logic. I have a file where I keep all my child’s reports, school photos and everything she does in the year like cards and things she achieves in school. Now I won’t have the first term’s report,” she said.

Another parent said she understood that the school was financially strapped due to non-payment of school fees however she had paid her grade 3 son’s fees.

“I think we are more angry because we know this could have been rectified by simply printing the report card instead of wasting paper and ink on letters informing us that there are no report cards.”

“How can they not see how silly this whole thing is?”

The principal could not be reached for comment, however KwaZulu-Natal education department spokesman Kwazi Mthethwa called on her to immediately release the pupils’ results.

“As a department we do not get involved in the day to day running of a school. That function belongs to the school. No one is allowed to withhold results of any learner. We are calling upon the school to be reasonable and give learners what is due to them.”

Mthethwa said he wasn’t aware of the letters that were sent home to parents.

“We have not seen any letters. But if it is true, how can the school claim that they don’t have resources to print any documents but they are printing another document. It’s a serious contradiction,” he said.

He added that school reports can be printed on cardboard or paper.

“No one needs glossy reports. A report is a report whether its on cardboard or paper. If it comes to a push, print it on paper,” he said.

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