Hagen court rules that it must be made clear that clone cartridge products are not remanufactured.

CRN carries the IT Law Kanlai’s Felix Bart’s report on the LG Hagen court’s ruling that a differentiation between cloned and remanufactured cartridges being sold must be made following complaints that wording on clone products can be misleading for consumers and cartridge suppliers.

The court’s decision means that it is prohibited for clone cartridges to be sold or distributed “without pointing out that this is not a remanufactured cartridge but (possibly infringing) newly manufactured replicas of toner cartridges”, stating that any other wording would be “misleading and therefore anti-competitive”. Violation of the ruling could result in a fine of up to €250,000 ($340,000), detention or imprisonment for up to six months.

The court used an example of an ambiguously labelled product, namely “Reusable Toner for HP LaserJet P 2050 Series P 2055”, which it pointed out was misleading due to the mention of the original cartridge. It was noted that it would not be clear to the public whether it was an original or compatible product and would run the risk of the supplier unintentionally misleading their product. Instead, it would be dependant on “the understanding of a reasonably well informed and circumspect consumer and the overall impression of the advertisement”.

Commenting on the court’s ruling, Vincent van Dijk, Director of ETIRA, said: “ETIRA welcomes this decision. We think it’s good for remanufacturers because it again clarifies the difference between rebuilding of OEM cartridges on the one hand, and new-built non-OEM models on the other.

“The judge in Hagen has given a strong warning to companies who sell those polluting new-built patent-infringing cartridges. His message is clear: don’t mess around with the word “remanufacturing”. In Germany, remanufacturing respects OEM patents and does something good for the environment. The Asian new-built cartridges do neither. The judge tells sellers of these products that the public has the right to know that they are at risk when they buy infringing clones.”

Meanwhile, Christian Wernhart, CEO of Swiss remanufacturer Embatex AG, added: “New-built cartridges have often a poor quality because the plastic and the injection moulding is not as good as an empty OEM cartridge.

“We test clones continously and many of them are leaking in the printer or break in the printer while it is printing. That’s the reason why the consumer must know if they are using a high quality remanufactured cartridge or a clone, because most of the consumers do not know the difference, they only know there exists an OEM cartridge and an aftermarket cartridge and we remanufacturers are put in the same pot as the clone producer.”

BIC launches a TV campaign to highlight child resistant requirements on lighters — This unprecedented TV advertising campaign from BIC will be broadcasted simultaneously in 15 European countries in March 2008, when European regulation (Decisions 2006/502/EC and 2007/231/EC) requires Member States to prevent  selling non child resistant lighters to consumers(1).

As required under the new regulation, BIC® lighters are now equipped with a reliable child resistant mechanism that makes them more difficult to operate by children.To support this major change for consumers, BIC will advertise on TV with a 30’ spot that highlights BIC® lighters’ quality.Marie Saglio, Marketing Director Europe at BIC explains: “BIC is the leading lighter brand in Europe and in the world. As such, it is our duty to propose consumers high quality lighters, and as well to remind them that lighters must be kept away from children, even if they are child resistant. The commercial highlights this.” Actually consumers can trust BIC expertise in child resistant lighters: the company has been selling child resistant lighters for 15 years in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand where similar legislations have already been enforced.

For over 30 years, BIC has been pursuing its strategy of offering consumers a product they can use daily, safely. Each BIC® lighter undergoes more over 50 individual, automatic tests. All BIC® lighters meet or exceed ISO 9994 international safety standard specifications.

(1) With the exception of lighters that are sold with a 2-year written guarantee, are refillable and can be repaired by an after-sale service based in the European Union.

It’s An Android World After All

Polaroid Launches $150 Kids Tablet, Expanding Its New Lease On Life As A Digital Media Company

Polaroid’s newish image as a digital media company got one more boost today, with the launch of a new, $150 Android tablet aimed specifically at children. Simply/obviously branded the “Polaroid kids tablet,” the 7-inch device has sidestepped the holiday shopping rush to try its luck instead launching among the throng at the CES show later this month in Las Vegas.

The news comes one day after Polaroid also announced a new retail strategy, the launch of at least 10 new stores this year dedicated to digital printing, which will also become a key place also to showcase its devices.

You might legitimately criticize Google’s Android for breeding a lot of fragmentation in the mobile market, but what the open-source OS has also done is help make wireless devices like tablets and smartphones truly mainstream, and, by way of being a ‘free’ OS, pave the way for some interesting devices that cater specifically to particular market segments. The Polaroid kids tablet is part of both of those trends.

The kids tablet, Polaroid says, will be made extra-durable — as you can see by the illustration here, that will include an extra-large bumper/bezel. Other hardware specifics for the Ice Cream Sandwich-loaded device, made in conjunction with Polaroid licensee Southern Telecom, include 8GB of internal storage with an additional external SD card slot; a 1.0 GHz CORTEX-A8 processor, a rear-only camera, and WiFi-only connectivity.

And, like other connected devices aimed at the youth market, it will come preloaded with parent-controlled security features and links to educational and kids-specific content.

This will include a “Kids Cam”, Music Studio and Draw features, as well as a couple of customized interfaces to deliver children-friendly content. These include a filtered video-streaming app called Kids Vids, as well as an interface called Free Play that presents all the free apps available from a child-filtered Android app store, the App Shop.

As a parent of two young kids myself, I have to admit that I’ve been pretty disappointed with a lot of the “kid friendly” devices on the market to date, which are usually too restricted and closed-source to be truly useful. And kids, after all, like to use tablets and smartphones pretty much like adults do, as evidenced by this Harris Poll study out today on smartphone and computer usage across the U.S.

I personally haven’t taken the time to “child proof” our own connected devices and so am constantly hovering over my children every time they use them, to keep them from lapsing into near-constant browsing of very, very random YouTube content (despite my very best efforts to restrict that browsing to Khans Academy ‘let’s learn math!’ videos). Something like this seems to take advantage of the huge amount of good content out there to keep them interested, while also giving a bit of peace of mind.

Other features include hotlinks to Nook children’s books, Dr. Seuss’ catalogue and interactive books from the Smithsonian.

Polaroid is selling the kids tablet along with its other devices online as well as through Kohl’s stores.

 

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/03/its-an-android-world-after-all-polaroid-launches-150-kids-tablet-expanding-its-new-lease-on-life-as-a-digital-media-company/

Absa Group’s Enterprise Development unit has taken a step into the retail sector by partnering with wholesalers Masscash to provide funding for Masscash’s growing retail outlets.

Masscash, which is a cash ‘n carry wholesaler that forms part of the Massmart/Walmart Group, is diversifying and moving into the retail sector by aggressively expanding into the township areas of South Africa using its own retail brand called “Fairpriced”.

Commenting on the deal, Absa Retail and Business Banking head for Enterprise Development Sisa Ntshona said he was excited that the agreement, which had taken many months to put together, had finally come to fruition.

“As Absa we have always said creating an environment that would enable the growth and development of sustainable small enterprises is one of the methods in resolving the poverty and unemployment challenges our country faces,” he said.

“That is why Absa in its efforts to assist with the development of entrepreneurs has teamed up with Masscash/Walmart. We will initially assist with the funding of a targeted number of  Fair Priced stores with the option to extend the programme to all of the planned 2500 stores over the next 2 to 3 years,’ he said. 

Absa will not only provide funding for the refurbishment of existing outlets or the building of new stores and with the option to provide working capital funding, but also provide access to products that include deposits, Point of Sale devices – POS and ATM machines.  

Among other strategic partners involved in this project is USAID who will also provide assistance to the entrepreneurs alongside Absa.    

Masscash’s Business Development Manager: AJ Bruwer said Masscash would identify suitable (previously disadvantaged) entrepreneurs to become the owners of these stores. “These stores will either be built from scratch or existing ones will be refurbished. Ideally the owner must live on the business premises.”

He said in order to ensure these stores were sustainable Masscash had identified other business partners including Builder’s Warehouse – to provide all of the required materials to build or refurbish a store; the University of Pretoria – to assist in training all entrepreneurs on the managing of stores and National Integration Solutions Services – to assist the entrepreneurs on a daily basis.

Bruwer said Fairpriced Outlets will be the vehicle to drive the Informal market into the future by using strategic partners experience and expertise. With the target to open 2500 of these stores over the next 2/3 years nationally. “We want to own the retail township space,” he said.

‘World first’ for Absa mobile payments

South African bank Absa and payment innovations company Thumbzup have signed an agreement to launch a mobile payment device, Payment Pebble, which will enable small businesses and entrepreneurs to accept debit or credit card payments through smartphones or tablets.

Payments will be made through a world first, plug-in device called “The Absa Payment Pebble”, the bank said in a statement last week.

“The Absa Payment Pebble” is a small card-reader device that can be plugged into the audio input on any mobile smartphone or tablet and used along with a mobile application.

The Absa Payment Pebble is scheduled to be available as a value-added service from Absa from early 2013.

Once the mobile app has been downloaded and the entrepreneur or business has registered for the service and received a pre-configured device, payments can be made via debit or credit card.

“One of the key differentiating features of the technology is its ability to enable safe and secure payment acceptance as a pin entry device, for both chip and magnetic swipe strip cards,” Absa said.

“The Absa Payment Pebble is also extremely simple to use because it seamlessly interacts with any smartphone without the hassle of complex synchronisation or power supply concerns.”

No other mobile acceptance device allows merchants to process payments remotely with a plug-in device, said Absa head of retail markets, Arrie Rautenbach.

“It is a game-changing innovation with the potential to transform the way in which entrepreneurs can safely accept offsite payments.”

He also said the deal with Thumbzup offered the potential of expanding into other African countries through Absa’s parent company, Barclays.

“We have a strong global commitment to innovation,” he said.

“As the Absa payment technology landscape changes, Absa is focused on delivering pioneering solutions to fundamentally transform the customer experience and build strong foundations for growth.”

SAinfo reporter

Read more:http://www.southafrica.info/business/trends/innovations/absa-041212.htm#.UOv6p4leseZ#ixzz2HNdh1mZj

Over the years there have been endless  discussions and points of view regarding ‘Price vs. Brand’ and ‘The Shopping Experience”. I have just returned from a fly fishing trip in the Lesotho Mountains with a bunch of likeminded chaps from different walks of life all with one thing in common – the love of the hunt for wild Rainbow Trout! – Rather similar to consumers, all looking for the same bargain – or are they?

Of the eight of us, two were absolutely committed to catch ‘big’ fish, while the majority were content to just ‘catch’, but all of us were in agreement about the venue which was stunning. Why drive six hundred kilometers to catch trout when there are plenty of trout an hour away? I believe, like shopping, it’s not only about the fish, but it’s about the outing; the Experience!

As retailers compete in a highly competitive environment and basically sell what their opponents are selling, at a similar price I must add, what else can you do to ‘woo’ me into your store? Surely you have to provide me with ‘The Experience’!

Research conducted in Canada and USA found that 35% of shoppers have had an extraordinary , or wow, retail experience in the past six months. But in order to hit that mark, retailers must deliver on as many as 10 different elements of the shopping experience simultaneously. Retailers are rewarded when shoppers tell others about their experience. Customer expectations are pretty high. It’s easy to fall short of those expectations, and hard to eclipse bad experiences. Unfortunately, people in general prefer to moan than to praise! 

So, as a retailer, what must you do in order to create an exceptional shopping experience for your customers?

Firstly, I believe, you need to get back to good old fashioned ‘manners’; being polite, genuinely caring and interested in helping, acknowledging and listening to your customer, after all, they know what they want!

Then, you have to provide Service Excellence, including patiently explaining and advising, checking stock, helping your customers to find products, having product knowledge and providing unexpected product quality.

Next, you must provide a Brand Experience. This includes exciting store design and atmosphere, consistently great product quality, making customers feel they’re special and that they always get a deal – not necessarily the cheaper price!

Consumers today are very busy and retailers must take note of this. Being sensitive to customers’ time on long check-out lines, being proactive in helping speed the shopping process is a critical component of creating the ‘Experience’.

Another important element to the ‘Experience Factor’ is Problem Recovery. You need to help resolve and compensate for problems; make refunds and returns extremely easy and painless. I shudder with consumer emotion when a manager argues over a R30 refund when his average sale is R400! What are your customers worth to you?

In the current recessionary climate, price is important to consumers, but only one factor in the overall wow shopping experience. The researchers found that of those experiencing a wow shopping trip, 43% said having consistently excellent products was a factor in their recent great retail experiences. That was the top response in regard to brand experience, followed by “getting a deal,” which was cited by 31% of respondents. 

Today’s economic situation is leading consumers to focus more on value than price. People are being more scrupulous about where they buy and what they buy. More educated consumers are looking for a better value in everything , even in a challenging economic environment, retailers are able to deliver a wow experience if they plan to provide the basic elements of a great shopping experience. 

We can also learn from the world’s best retailers. Over the last 10-years, Apple has risen to retail dominance and, in the process, became the most valuable company on the Forbes 2000 with a market value exceeding $500 billion.  Instrumental to this financial rise has been Apple’s cultivation of one of the most successful retail environments in history.  As a recent in-depth New York Times series puts it, “the Apple Store is the undisputed king, a retail phenomenon renowned for impeccable design, deft service and spectacular revenues.”  Apple has built this truly unique retail empire through the vertical integration of the product, retail, and customer experiences within the Apple Store. Apple is one the best retailers in the world at creating an engaging customer experience whose retail environment provides an excellent framework for growing retailers to emulate.  By analysing and applying the critical success factors of the Apple retail model in combination with new, innovative tools, growing retailers can readily create an ‘Apple-like’ retail experience in their stores. I believe that Apple’s biggest ‘retail win’ is their sales team. They have a team of cool looking nerds in blue shirts who are pure Apple Specialists and are also Apple Fans who want their customers to fall in love with Apple! Another winning aspect is that these Specialists are not financially incentivised to push one product over another – a subtle message that helps reassure the customer and open the channel for dialogue.

One common thread shared by the leadership of companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Disney,  is an appreciation for the customer experience. Great brands are built and sustained on great customer service. Especially in a time when consumers have more buying choices than ever, great customer service adds value and differentiates brands from their competition; and service is delivered by people!

So, to be the best you need to employ and keep the best. You must be constantly training and communicating with your team members. Information sharing is also paramount to your success. Team members need to know ‘the numbers’ and your company’s strategy, after all, they are going to take you there! Finally, you and your team have to have fun; what is the point if you do not enjoy what you are doing?  Do I enjoy fly-fishing? Sure I do, especially when I catch fish!

Johannesburg, South Africa. October 15th 2012. Canon SA will be hosting two of the world’s most renowned professional photographers at this year’s Canon SA Expo. Photojournalist, Ziv Koren and wildlife photographer, Brutus Östling are among the guest speakers on Canon’s panel for the Expo at Sandton Convention Centre from 30 November to 2 December. 

Canon has increased their efforts this year and will be hosting two speaker sessions, which will run simultaneously throughout the expo period.  

“We are extremely excited about the calibre of local and international speakers who will be sharing their expertise with visitors at the Expo. Both Koren and Östling are Canon ambassadors and those interested in their fields of photography cannot afford to miss these sessions,” comments Michelle Janse van Vuuren, Marketing Manager at Canon SA. 

Ziv Koren started his photographic career as a young military photographer in the Israeli army. He has been freelancing since 1998 and is best known for his award-winning 2003 project – ‘Louai Mer’i’, (a sergeant is going home) documenting an injured soldier. He regularly lectures on photography and exhibits his work around the world. 

One of his images was selected in 2000 by World Press Photo as one of the 200 best pictures from the previous 45 years. He has also won numerous awards including Picture of the Year, World Press Photo and Photo District News awards. Koren was also very active in covering the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

Brutus Östling started publishing his work at the age of 22 in 1981. Specialising in bird and wildlife photography, three of his photo books have been bestsellers in Sweden. Two of his books also won the WWF Panda Prize as best nature books in 2006 and 2007, when he was also appointed as ‘Scandinavian Nature Photographer 2007-2008’. Recently Östling has been photographing birds in the US states of Alaska and Florida, and has travelled throughout Europe to appear and speak at a variety of photo events and workshops.

The speaker sessions will start at 11:00 daily with the last one commencing at 16:00. The speakers and their topics include:

-Ziv Koren (Photo Journalism)
-Brutus Ostling (Wildlife)
-Roger Machin (EOS DSLR range)
-Abri Kriegler (Digital Compact range)
-Dave Han (Portraiture)
-Andrew Aveley (Wildlife)
-Paul Hoffman (Pricing photography)
-Dave Devo Oosthuizen (Conservation)
-Graham Smith (Workflow and DPP)
-Qasim Abdullah (Entry-level video)
-Manus van Dyk (Macro Photography: Equipment and Technique/Action Photography)
-Marlene Neumann (Creative Photography)
-Heinrich van der Berg (Wildlife)

 

Entrance to the Canon SA Expo is free. Visitors will be able to get a closer look at the latest Canon products and technologies, which include the company’s wide range of consumer and selected business solutions.

Canon will also be selling selected products at the Expo, with various specials on certain items while stocks last. 

For a complete list of the speaker sessions and topics and for general information with regards to the expo, please visit www.csaexpo.co.za.

 

* Please note speaker topics may be subject to change, please refer to the website for updated list.

Johannesburg, South Africa. October 14th 2012. With just a few weeks to go until the 2012 Canon Expo, the company is gearing up for its biggest show yet. With a top line-up of professionals on the speakers’ panel; a showcase of Canon’s selected range of consumer imaging solutions and the chance to play with just-launched technologies – this year’s Expo will provide an absolute thrill for visitors!

The three-day event takes place from Friday, 30 November to Sunday, 2 December 2012 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, Gauteng. The Canon SA Expo will be open from 10:00 to 18:00 daily and entrance is free.

Among the local guest speakers invited to form part of the panel at this year’s Expo, is world-renowned photojournalist, Ziv Koren and wildlife photographer, Brutus Östling. Two speaker streams will be running simultaneously throughout the event.  

Visitors can also take a stroll through the gallery area to see the top entries in the 2012 Canon Photo Competition. Canon SA’s Marketing Manager, Michelle van Vuuren says the calibre of entries to this year’s competition has been extremely high and she encourages expo attendees to walk through the gallery to see the spectacular level of photographic talent that exists in South Africa.

Jnse Van Vuuren also reminds people to check the Canon website a week before the expo to view the show specials and price list as well as the speaker timeslots. 

“Our 2012 expo promises to be educational, entertaining and inspiring for individuals with an interest in photography, businesses looking to streamline print and document flow efficiencies, and photographers wanting to print their own professional quality pictures. In fact, this expo is for anyone.“

“We will showcase a huge selection of our innovative products and solutions, giving visitors a chance to interact with them and speak to Canon product experts who will be on hand to give advice. For us, this expo is a great opportunity to engage first-hand with the people who buy, use and love our technologies. We are looking forward to it,” she concludes.

 

 

For more information please visit the Canon SA Expo website at www.csaexpo.co.za

Be Warned!

The warning bells of credit card fraud 

It is coming up to that time of the year when South Africans shower their loved ones with gifts or spoil themselves with a well-deserved holiday, It’s also the time to be extra alert when doing financial transactions.

The few months in the run up to December are when scamsters come out play and increase their fraudulent activities.

It is therefore crucial to educate yourself on the signs of credit card fraud so you can take  action and decrease your risk of being a target.  

 

Go through statements carefully

It is imperative to check and re-check the transactions illustrated on your statement each month. Assuming those little charges are your spouse’s is dangerous, as fraudsters take the chance of testing your card without running up the bill.


Bills for unauthorised accounts 

One of the obvious signs of credit card fraud is receiving a bill for credit you did not apply for. This may seem like an obvious tip, but sometimes people assume that the company just got the
wrong person and do not investigate further. Even more likely is not even opening the mail thinking it is junk mail. 

Suspicious membership

A phone call from a merchant might come through to you, indicating that your membership fee could not be processed after your two-week trial was over. If you did not sign-up for a free trial recently, this is a good indicator that someone tested to see if the card was active by enrolling with the credit card. Call the credit card company, or at the very least check your balance or statement to see if there are any unauthorised charges. 

 

Always…

Keep your credit cards safe and only carry those credit cards you will be using that day. Leave all your other cards at home. Thieves can take pictures of your credit card with a camera or cell phone, so don’t leave your credit card exposed any longer than necessary. Shred anything with your credit card number on it. Don’t sign blank credit card receipts. Avoid giving out your credit card information and be safe with your credit card online. Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.

Credit card criminals are quite determined, but aware consumers can halt these criminals in their tracks. Once the red flag is raised on credit card fraud, consumers can take action to protect themselves and limit their liability. 

Fraudsters place order as Eskom

Bojanala Office National in Rustenburg recenty received what seemed to be a suspicious order from Eskom.  

The request was for delivery in Thabazimbi and the email address that was used was as follows: mphom@supplychaineskom.co.za!

The feeling towards the order was that something was amiss and after consulting with shop-sa, Bojanala Office National contacted Eskom to verify the order placed.

Eskom’s Forensic and Anti-Corruption Department promptly responded confirming that the documentation received, in fact was fraudulent and that the business should be avoided.

They say that the one thing that brings South Africans together is sport. I beg to differ. Truth is, there’s something about gathering around the African TV that is hard-wired into all of us, and the moment we huddlearound the fire, we become one nation. The Ultimate Braai Master  takes you on a breathtaking 8000 kilometre culinary road trip and lets you redefine the rules that govern cooking on the open flame. Join Justin Bonello and his 30 new friends on a fireside journey across South Africa, where the great outdoors becomes your kitchen, your cooler box converts into the kitchen table and the roaring fire replaces your stove. This book is not only about the road trippers and the mouth-watering recipes they create, but also about the astonishing places in South Africa that many of us only get to dream about. The bonus? You get to become the Ultimate Braai Master in your home.

 

 

About the author:
Justin Bonello is a South African filmmaker, chef and television personality best known for starring in his own cooking and travel show, Cooked, since 2006. He’s the guy messing about with the braai, burning the fingers on one hand with a beer in the other; or in the kitchen fearlessly experimenting with flavours and ingredients, playing with his food. Justin’s other books include Cooked in Africa, Cooked – Out of the Frying Pan, Cooked – Weekends Away and Justin Bonello Cooks … for Friends.

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