People in printing industry might say the successful acquisition of Lexmark by Apex Technology is a huge milestone by the end of year 2016. This acquisition, worth $3.9 billion (including 100% of stock rights, intellectual products and the brand) has become China’s largest overseas acquisition in the printing industry and has garnered much attention. As sub-company of Zhuhai APEX Technology, Many people in this industry know that Ninestar was founded 16 years ago. To date, Ninestar has successfully applied over 1,600 patents and gained more than 10,000 patent authorizations in 19 countries. With such a strong portfolio, Ninestar’s success is inevitable.
Looking back at the historical development of the industry, what brought on steady development and the successful acquisition of Lexmark was having the right strategy. Ninestar’s top management has consistently made the right decisions at exactly the right moments since founding time. Ninestar’s team continues to make the impossible happen, and venture where others would not even dare to dream. People like to say whoever owns the real IP, wins the market. The continuous investment in R&D and technology has helped Ninestar grow constantly and shift its focus to innovation. It took many years of investment and faith in the IP and technology to finally become a leading technology- driven company with industry acknowledgement. To respect IP and consistently innovate is the main reason Ninestar has developed steadily and risen to the patent technology leader in the aftermarket, also it is their big contribution to guide the whole industry to develop with own innovation technology like today OEM and aftermarket can support each other being one stronger group company.
There is a famous article called Winter of Huawei which describes a beginning similar to Ninestar’s. The pioneering manufacturers of Huawei 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. Like Huawei, Ninestar also invested a lot in IP and patent technology. That’s one of the important reasons that made the acquisition happened.
Patented Technology of Inkjet Cartridges: Ninestar has been imitated, but never surpassed.
A shipment of 46,200 compatible inkjet cartridges was seized by Chinese Customs for infringing on Ninestar’s patents on November, 24th 2011. This was the first case in China’s aftermarket that a compatible consumables manufacturer was the infringed party. Indeed, many compatible manufacturers have copied Ninestar’s technologies and products. However, Ninestar has been imitated, but never to be surpassed. From 2000 to 2003, with years’ development and research, air-control valve patented technology was developed by Ninestar and it became one of the most stable non-sponge pressure controlling methods in aftermarket. In 2004, patented seal was developed and widely used in compatible inkjet cartridges for Epson, HP and Brother printers. This patent has a better sealing effect. Four years later, products with simulate sensor chip for Epson was launched by Ninestar. The piezoelectric sensor has since lost its monopoly in the aftermarket. In 2011, patented pressure control technology used in HP950’s compatible inkjet cartridges was developed. This patented technology paved the way for pressurized inkjet cartridges. In 2012, patented chip technology which emits light by ignoring ID information for Canon was developed. This technology is non-infringement and avoids any potential litigation. Finally, in 2013, patented chip technology which enables the chip to test the short circuit independently was developed.
When look back and review the development footprint of Ninestar toner cartridges, its first patent toner cartridges TN-350 for Brother was released in 2006. After years of development, Ninestar developed patented products for all of Brother’s models with more stability and better user experience. In addition, Ninestar’s products were not affected by Brother’s lawsuit in Germany in 2016. In 2011, patented twisted gear technology was developed to improve overall printing performance. During 2012 and 2013, Samsung took legal action against compatible consumables manufacturers for infringing its CLP310/320/360（409/4072/406/404) patents. Ninestar then released patented products for Samsung which were favored and recognized by the industry. Most importantly, in 2014, patented dongle gear for Canon was developed to ensure stability and lower printing costs. These achievements resulted from Ninestar’s dedication and investment in its own patent technology.
What is mentioned above is only the tip of the iceberg. For any company, IP usually requires huge amounts of manpower, materials and financial resources. So there’s good reason for Ninestar to respect third parties’ IP and protect its own. In the future, Ninestar will continue to offer customers better quality products and aims to be a leading one-stop solution provider in the printing industry.