Where do I start? Stock market? Unemployment? Immigration Reform? My favorite target – PPACA (Obamacare)? Nah, spring training is just around the corner and the football season is over. That’s a good place to start as the Boys of Summer start gathering in Florida and Arizona. As always I’ll be following the Texas Rangers and hoping that the spate of injuries to their pitching staff, which started last year, will not be debilitating. I’m especially looking forward to having the Prince (Fielder) at first base. And of course, I’ll be watching to see what the Boys in Blue (LA Dodgers) and their bloated payroll will be doing on the Left Coast.
There was a group in Canada that for a short time was probably the most profitable print producer in the world. Too bad that the Secret Service and RCMP caught up with them. They were printing bogus bills using offset equipment, as well as specially treating the paper and using sophisticated finishing to make the bills “real.” Regardless, as with many sketchy ventures, they got caught as did over 2,000 people last year attempting to find a way to easy street. More here.
So, now that we know (do we really?) that 2 million folks are going to tune-in and drop out of the work force because of PPACA, is that a good thing or a bad thing. One side of me says it might not be a bad thing for the folks who want to work on a part-time basis and can now have access to health care. Another side of me says the spin doctors in Washington got it wrong – again. The original prediction was 800,000 people, but then again those same folks said that we could keep our existing health insurance. The problem being is that NO ONE really knows what this major change to our healthcare system will do. We will have losers and winners, but it’s not going to be cheaper!
What’s Quad up to? Last year it was the acquisition of Vertis and yesterday they announced the acquisition of UniGraphic a large commercial printer on the East Coast. Craig Faust, Quad/Graphics president of their commercial/specialty division stated, “UniGraphic serves the East Coast from two strategically located facilities featuring leading-edge capabilities such as Web-to-print and on-demand services for static and variable print, as well as the latest technology for producing large-format signs and point-of-purchase displays. This is an ideal platform on which we can better service our existing client base, as well as grow by providing a more robust national footprint.” Read more.
Although much of the industry is oblivious to patent infringement, it may not be for long. There are several dozen printers, many in Texas and Tennessee, locked up in battle with a firm (non-practicing entity is the legal phrase, a.k.a. patent troll) who purchased a patent originally developed by a now defunct printing company. The troll is demanding fees in excess of $50,000 of firms using digital technology (workflow) to produce printing plates. The patent is equipment agnostic and today’s patent laws favor the troll.
How these firms fare over the next few months, in what may be a very unpleasant legal fight, will dictate if this troll decides that there are 20,000+ victims waiting to be fleeced, or that their time could be spent better somewhere else.