The Good. The Bad. The Ugly

Last week’s good news was celebrating the achievement of the companies which won “Best of” recognition at this year’s Graphex Awards Competition.  It was recognizing Chuck Chalifoux and the role that he has played in not only establishing ColorDynamics as a “player” in the industry, but as a person and industry leader.  This coming week, Kansas City’s print community will band together to celebrate its top print providers and recognize Mike Magerl (Trabon), Stewart Beldin (Valassis), and Barry Wilson (Pittsburg State University) as significant contributors to the industry.  Good stuff.

Last week also had the U.S. Senate moving the Marketplace Fairness Act one step closer to being real legislation. Bad Stuff.  Although the legislation has some positive aspects for the collection of sales tax for the 50 states, it creates a major burden for the folks collecting sales tax.  Think direct mail.  Think 4,000 different taxing districts and collecting those taxes.  The legislation still has to get to the House, where it could meet its demise, but this bill is getting legs.

And the Ugly.   The Patent Troll (non-practicing entity in legalese) has moved out from under the bridge and is now making forays into our industry.  Sadly, these individuals have twisted our existing patent laws so they can attack users of technology and blackmail them for licensing fees.  Defending these actions can sometimes be more expensive than paying the “toll.”  As our industry becomes more and more dominated by software technologies, it is incumbent that our legislators revisit our existing patent laws – and given the types of dollars in legal and licensing fees generated by these critters (estimated to be $29 Billion in 2011), it’s not going to be an easy fight.

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