Printing Impressions magazine presents:

EFI Wards Off `Patent Troll' in Appeals Court

FREMONT, CA—EFI announced that it has prevailed in a court case filed against the company in what it characterizes as a “patent troll” attempt to extract a settlement. In early July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirmed that a device profile patent asserted by a subsidiary of the non-practicing entity Acacia Research against EFI and 31 other companies is invalid.

Digitech Image Technologies, a subsidiary of Acacia, filed a patent infringement suit in a California federal court in August 2012 against EFI, certain EFI strategic partners and others. In August 2013, the district court invalidated the patent and entered judgment in favor of EFI and the other defendants.

Digitech appealed and, on July 11, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision. The Federal Circuit recognized that the device profiles claimed in Digitech’s patent were simply “a collection of intangible color and spatial information” and therefore not eligible for patenting.

Although Digitech had previously garnered settlements from some companies before the district court’s decision, EFI noted it opposed Digitech’s claims from the start.

“The Federal Circuit’s decision confirms what we have maintained from the outset: that the patent is invalid and that EFI and its partners should not have been sued in the first place,” said EFI General Counsel Bryan Ko.

“As we have said before, we will not be bullied into settling abusive lawsuits by patent trolls.”

SG360ยบ Adds Lehigh Direct to its Portfolio

WHEELING, IL—SG360º, a Segerdahl company, has announced the acquisition of Broadview, IL-based direct mail printer Lehigh Direct, a division of Visant Corp.

The combination of the two companies creates one of the nation’s largest in-line variable imaging direct mail service providers. The acquisition expands the breadth and services of SG360º to include a multitude of four-color in-line variable imaging web presses, as well as data programming.

SG360º now oversees the printing and mailing of more than two billion direct mail pieces annually, with total revenues of more than $300 million. SG360º’s current production capacity will double and boost its employee base to more than 600 workers.

In addition, the company’s operating facilities are expanding to more than 950,000 square feet. SG360º’s campus operations now include four buildings—three in Wheeling, IL, and one in Broadview, IL.

“The blending of Lehigh Direct and SG360º exemplifies our commitment to being the best at providing our existing and future customers the most diverse and expansive expertise in the direct marketing industry,” said Rick Joutras, SG360º chairman, president and CEO. “Lehigh’s web facility, technologies and people will further expand SG360º’s offerings.”

SG360º’s customers include well-known luxury/clothing retailers, entertainment, food, electronic, financial, insurance and home/hardware retailers. The firm is involved in almost every industry—from finance to healthcare to automotive and other service industries, including some of the world’s largest advertising agencies.

Donnelley Investment at IN Plant Promises 75 New Jobs

WARSAW, IN—RR Donnelley has requested a tax abatement on $22 million of new equipment for the company's production facility here. The new gear is also expected to result in 75 new jobs this fall.

Donnelley's John Pierog attended the Kosciusko Economic Development Corp. (EDC) county council meeting July 10 to request the tax abatement. According to the EDC, RR Donnelley currently has over 1,000 employees in the county and the company has had a firm grounding in the community for more than 50 years. Along with the new equipment, RR Donnelley will hire the additional 75 employees sometime in late fall once the new equipment is installed, with the potential for future employment growth.

"RR Donnelley is a significant manufacturing employer in Kosciusko County," said Larry Teghtmeyer, vice chair, Kosciusko county council. "We are excited about their acquisition of state-of-the-art printing equipment that will not only add nearly 100 good paying jobs for our citizens but help retain the current employment base as they become more cost-competitive to serve their customers."

NYSE: Standard Register Not Meeting Listing Criteria

DAYTON, OH—Standard Register revealed that it was notified by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that it is not in compliance with the NYSE's continued listing standards. Standard Register is considered below the criteria, since the company's average market capitalization was less than $50 million over a 30 trading-day period, and at the same time its stockholders' equity was less than $50 million.

"We are realizing the benefits of the acquisition of WorkflowOne, including strengthening sales pipelines across our solutions portfolio, as we continue with the integration. We anticipate at least $40 million in annual savings when complete at the end of 2015, and look forward to sharing our progress and future plans for long-term value creation with the NYSE," said Joseph Morgan Jr., president and CEO.

In accordance with NYSE procedures, Standard Register has notified the NYSE that it will submit a business plan within 45 days from receipt of the NYSE notice that demonstrates the company's ability to regain compliance. Upon receipt of the plan, the NYSE has 45 days to review and determine whether the Company has made a reasonable demonstration of the ability to come into conformity with the relevant standards. Assuming the NYSE accepts the plan, it will determine the appropriate period for Standard Register to regain compliance.

PIA Unveils InterTech Technology Award Winners

PITTSBURGH—Printing Industries of America has announced the recipients of its 2014 InterTech Technology Awards. The technologies receiving this respected award have been judged as truly innovative and are expected to advance the performance of the graphic communications industry.

An independent panel of judges deliberated over an outstanding selection of technology nominations, which showcased the dynamic nature of the industry. This year many of the awards were technologies supporting the packaging and label markets, providing hardware and software solutions, along with estimating software, digital presses, folding technology, and light measurement for viewing booths.

The following 11 technologies were selected to receive the 2014 InterTech Technology Award:

(Listed alphabetically by company, with the technology named first)

  • IC3D Suite, Creative Edge Software
  • EFI IQuote, EFI
  • Equinox, Esko
  • Full HD Flexo, Esko
  • Vpak Packaging Presses, Goss International
  • Heidelberg Stahlfolder PFX Feeder Technology, Heidelberg USA
  • Hinterkopf Digital Printer D240, Hinterkopf GmbH
  • HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, HP
  • GL SPECTIS 1.0 Series, JUST Normlicht
  • JETLEADER 1500, TKS
  • Xeikon ICE Toner, Xeikon

The InterTech stars will be presented during the 2014 Premier Print Awards Gala Featuring the InterTech Technology Awards, Sept. 28 in Chicago.

F.P. Horak Joins Forces With TBF Graphics

BAY CITY, MI—The F.P. Horak Co. has announced that it has merged with Saginaw, MI-based TBF Graphics. The merger, to be finalized Sept. 1, gives customers increased access to expanded technology and resources.

"TBF Graphics has a longstanding business relationship with The F.P. Horak Co., with more than 20 years of corporate synergies existing between the two print service providers," said F.P. Horak President Tim Dust. "Together, we will continue to diversify to meet the challenges of today’s market while remaining at the forefront of the print and marketing industries. The F.P. Horak Co. is excited about the merger because of the strong reputation TBF Graphics has in the Saginaw community and beyond. F.P. Horak now has the opportunity to work with new customers with which we haven’t previously done business."

TBF Graphics President Scott Turner also noted about the merger: "TBF Graphics is happy to become part of a larger organization, with access to more resources and technologies. This merger allows us to move forward in the ever-changing print industry and invest in cutting-edge technology."

TBF Graphics will move its Saginaw operations to The F.P. Horak Co. facilities in Bay City.

Opportunities in Wide-Format Digital Printing Revealed at Educational Event (Includes Video); Free White Paper on How to Get Started Now Available

OAK BROOK, IL—Printers looking to break away from the commodity trap should consider digital signage, banners, wide-format graphics and point-of-purchase/point-of-sale (POP/POS) output as a way to expand their sales and profit margins.

That was the key takeaway from Printing Impressions’ “Opportunities in Wide-Format Digital Printing” regional colloquium held here at Gibson’s Steakhouse on June 18. Focused on the trends, opportunities and key reasons to invest in wide-format solutions, the luncheon and networking event was sponsored by Fujifilm North America, Graphic Systems Div.; Inca Digital; and ColorGATE, and was attended by Chicago-area commercial printers interested in advancing their understanding of the opportunities that wide-format printing offers.

It led off with a keynote speaker presentation by Dan Marx, vice president, markets & technologies, at the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA). Marx provided a unique insight based on SGIA’s new industry study data, which covered the market forces driving wide-format graphics demand; critical business applications and new business opportunities; purchasing behaviors existing users are experiencing with wide-format buyers; and much more.

According to the report, top markets served include retail stores, corporate branding, educational institutions, nonprofits/associations/organizations and food services. And primary wide-format end product areas include POS/POP, banners, vehicle graphics, pole signs and window displays.

An expert user panel was also moderated by Mark Michelson, editor-in-chief of Printing Impressions. Panelists included Tom Fitzgerald, VP, sales support operations, Yunker Industries, Lake Geneva, WI; Erik Landrowski, COO at NGS Printing, Elgin, IL; Brett Levitt, co-owner of Oakley Signs & Graphics in Des Plaines, IL; and Todd Meissner, president, Color Ink Inc., in Sussex, WI.

The panel shared their real-world, wide-format printing challenges and successes with the audience and fielded many probing questions during the Q&A and networking portions. Topics covered ranged from how to get started in wide-format—to typical production bottlenecks, color management, substrate options and finishing requirements—to sales compensation and marketing plans, and more.

The event was a tremendous success in advancing the conversation around the highly profitable area of wide-format printing. Click on the video above or click here to watch the video highlighting the event.

As a follow-up, SGIA is offering a free white paper, “Going Wide: 4 Steps to New Imaging Opportunities,” that can be downloaded by going to www.sgia.org/resource/white-paper/sgias-new-wide-format-series. Download this valuable, free tutorial now on how to get started in wide-format printing.