The Clickinks Blog | All posts by danielle-bernhard

Judges Save 50% On Printing Costs By Banning Attorneys

26. December 2009 05:00 by Danielle Bernhard in print news, office supplies, economy  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Recently market research firms including Gartner and InfoTrends have released reports telling companies that they can save money on their printing costs by reducing the number of persons per printer. But at the General Sessions Court in Chattanooga, Tennessee, resident Judges have taken this policy to its logical extreme. By banning local lawyers from the corridor outside their offices, they have restricted access to their copier machine and saved 50% on their printing costs. Whereas, according to a Judge Bales, the ‘copier was breaking down once every six weeks’ before the restrictions were put in place, now the copier ‘has not broken down in more than a year.’ Businesses may learn a lot from this approach: simply refusing to let persons use their printer is a great way to keep them pristine.


This policy of the Chattanooga City Court was put in place at the climax of a ‘persistent erosion of collegiality’ between attorneys and Judges. This concerns alleged abuses of the General Sessions Court facilities on the part of visiting attorneys. Speaking to Chattanoogan.com, Judge Moon spoke of ‘major fiscal concerns’ not only regarding the copier but the City Court kitchen. ‘We have five judges and three staff members in our General Sessions Court. Only three of the eight drink coffee and yet we have previously had the highest coffee expense in Hamilton County for any office our size. Our annual coffee bill was approximately $2,600 annually for only three people,’ he said. By restricting access to the kitchen the Judges have reduced the coffee bill to $500 for themselves and the taxpayer.

A group of 30 attorneys have sent a letter to the City Court judges, calling the restriction to their access to the corridor ‘an insult.’ They object to the new policy not only because the court corridor was used for legitimate business, but because they were not consulted before the new policy was put into place. The attorneys said that business in the Court ‘is dependent upon quick access to all the parties concerned, including law enforcement officers, victims, witnesses and multiple attorneys.’ Yet they may have to learn to live with the changes; the judges have no plans to reverse their decision after reviewing reduced costs of maintenance for their copier and a smaller bill for paper.

Students Adopt Creative Approach to Recycling Toner

24. December 2009 07:07 by Danielle Bernhard in print news, recycle  //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)
Students of the South Polytechnic State University in Marietta recently took a creative approach to recycling empty ink cartridges when, to help beat exams stress, they tore the components to pieces using several blenders. Along with similar used components including defunct printers and old keyboards, the student chapter of the Association of Computer Machinery paid $1 for the opportunity to shred their used cartridges. One of a dozen student witnesses to the rampage, freshman James Mahoney, told AJCNews.com: ‘Destruction is always fun when it’s rampant.’


The faculty advisor to the Association of Computer Machinery recommended the Blendtec Total Blender to the group, after seeing the machine perform on YouTube. Powered by 1500 Watts, the blender will shred almost anything; although, as AJCNews.com reports, ‘it gets tripped up with some metals and, as students discovered, ink cartridges.’ The students, extremely relaxed and ready for their exams after the rampage, plan to recycle the shredded remains of the empty ink cartridges. Though where they intend to do so remains to be seen - whether the Cartridge Recycling Programs at Canon and Lexmark accept powered plastic is doubtful.

Canon Celebrates 20 Years Of Toner Recycling

23. December 2009 14:50 by Danielle Bernhard in print news, recycle cartridges, canon  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The cartridge recycling program initiated by Canon is about to celebrate its twentieth anniversary. In 1990 the scheme only operated in the USA, Germany and Japan. Today it covers 23 nations and, as of June 2009, has collected around 220,000 tons of used toner cartridges. The toner recycling scheme is unique among print brands in that 100% of the cartridge parts are recycled and recovered, so that nothing goes to landfill. For example, the energy used in recycling the cartridges is used for heating, while the plastic is used for new cartridges.


The timeline of the Canon Recycling Program documents the company’s increasing concern with recycling. Beginning in 1990 with only three nations, by 1994 21 countries were involved. Further, the rate of cartridge collection has grown most rapidly in the last five years: at the Program’s half way point in 2000, only 60,000 tons of cartridges had been collected, of the 222,000 recycled today. Further, it was not only 2003 that Canon’s ‘zero landfill’ policy was implemented in all four of its global recycling bases. This period of greater dedication to toner recycling coincides with the increased number of accolades award to Canon. In 2005 for example, Canon received a 3R Award from the Japanese Minister of Industry.

Canon attributes the success of its Cartridge Recycling Program to its company ethos: ‘kyosei’. This mentality of ‘living and working for the common good’ meant Canon introduced its ink and toner recycling program before any other printer brand, and without cost to the consumer. Today it implements a ‘closed-loop recycling’ method, meaning that a minimum of new resources are needed for its products. The company presently only recycles ink cartridges of its own brand, though this may change later on. To take part in Canon’s program, visit their website.

HP Joins Anti-Counterfeiting Group

17. December 2009 07:32 by Danielle Bernhard in clickinks, print news, hp  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Print News: HP Joins Anti-Counterfeiting Group

In recent years HP has invested huge amounts to combat counterfeit ink cartridge sellers. Now the cartridge giant has joined the anti-counterfeiting Global Leadership Group.

In an attempt to redouble its anti-counterfeiting efforts, HP has announced its membership of the Business Action to Stop Counterfeit and Piracy (BASCAP) Global Leadership Group. A worldwide organisation, members of the BASCAP co-operate to address property rights issues, as well as share resources to fight counterfeit groups. By the combination of their expertise, businesses within BASCAP aim to increase the effect of their anti-counterfeiting schemes, as well as educate consumers about the problem. Though HP is itself concerned with combating counterfeit ink sellers, BASCAP fights the sale of illegal goods across many electronics industries. BASCAP was formed in 2005 and since then has expanded steadily.


For HP, the rise of counterfeit ink cartridges has become a real problem. It is estimated that of the $3 billion lost to counterfeit sellers in the cartridge industry last year, $1 billion of that was lost by Hewlett Packard. This is according to market research by IDC. Combined with the tough climate of the recession – sales of HP products fell 21% this year in the US – counterfeiters today seriously undermine HP. This is due in part to changes in HP’s business model, which depends on the revenue from ink cartridges. They are sold at prices reaching half that of the printers themselves, which recoup only the cost of production.

Yet while making the ink and toner market incredibly profitable – according to BusinessWeek.com its value has ballooned from $11 billion to $45 billion in ten years – HP opened the way for counterfeiters. While the print giant spent this decade combating legitimate toner resellers, which depend on HP’s own empty cartridges, the market in counterfeit ink exploded. According to LatinTrade.com, since 2003 the revenue lost to counterfeiters has gone from $2 billion to $3 billion. The problem has become so massive that, between 2005-2008, HP’s anti-counterfeiting unit conducted 4,620 investigations, seizing $795 million in fake products.

The decision to join BASCAP is one of several attempts by CEO Mard V. Hurd to combat the counterfeit market. Talking to Cliff Edwards of BusinessWeek.com, he expressed concern that the widespread sale of fake HP toner would ‘damage [the brand’s] reputation. His concern is legitimate because, unlike ink resellers which don’t pretend to sell original cartridges, counterfeiters imitate HP toner packaging. There are ways of distinguishing – counterfeit toner won’t bear HP’s security logo, for example – but often the imitations are too accurate to be discerned. Moreover, unlike sellers of counterfeit watches, which go for reduced prices, sellers of HP counterfeit ink cartridges often match the prices of the original.

Whether HP will enjoy any success because of its BASCAP membership remains to be seen. Their existing anti-counterfeiting measures have paid some dividends – HP’s website notes that the manufacturer has seized 15 million false ink and toner cartridges in three years. Moreover, HP retains a full-time Anti-Counterfeiting force in existence solely to combat counterfeiting groups. The Force advises customers if they’ve fallen victim to a fake cartridge seller, and also performs sting operations. However, though glamorous, it is difficult to determine what impact such measures are having on counterfeiting groups. Judging by the yearly revenue HP is losing to the black market, counterfeiters are not yet going anywhere.

How to Print Your Own Marketing Materials

16. December 2009 12:48 by Danielle Bernhard in clickinks, diy, print marketing  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
You can print your own professional looking marketing pieces in house, with great results, saving money off the bottom line.


Spend a little extra to purchase the right paper, or print media. If you are sending out postcards or printing business cards, do not try to make do. Purchase the appropriate paper. This will make layout easier and the end product will turn out much more professional. Do not try to use inkjet paper on a laser printer, or laser paper on an inkjet printer.

Today’s inkjet printers do an amazing job of delivering bright, colorful marketing materials. Get the most out of your printer settings. Explore your printer's manual or printing options, and get acquainted with the Properties menu of your print dialog box. There are many settings available that will determine the quality of print, as well as allowing you to select the appropriate paper type. You probably have more printing options than you realize.

Most printers will accept a variety of paper sizes. Not only legal and letter size, you may also be able to print on postcards, envelopes and more. It is easy to get accustomed to printing only letter size sheets of paper without ever exploring the other paper sizes your printer can handle. So find your printer manual, or look it up online, and read up on your printer's capabilities.

Final Note: Have plenty of ink, toner, paper, labels and all other supplies on hand. Stock up on a combo pack at Clickinks.com. There is nothing worse than running out of ink or paper at the last minute.

Go Stealth: Print with Invisible Ink

15. December 2009 09:38 by Danielle Bernhard in invisible ink, inkjet printer  //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)

How To Print with Invisible Ink

You have seen invisible ink in mysteries and fairy tales. Spies and royalty have been depicted using it for centuries to convey hidden messages for no one else to see. It has been used for both practical uses, and for fun – playing spy games.

Hundreds of liquids, from fruit juices to specially formulated chemicals, can be used as invisible ink. Here we explore some of the ways you can use invisible ink. I hope you will be inspired to make your own invisible ink at home. With a bit of practice, you too can become a master of security through obscurity!

Baking Soda – You have it at home, it has so many uses. You can draw with invisible ink now, using this simple ingredient. Mix equal parts of water and baking soda. Using a paintbrush, Q-tip or any other instrument you can turn the new baking soda solution into your invisible ink. Once your message is dry hold it up to a light bulb until the writing turns brown or paint over the paper with purple grape juice concentrate so the writing changes color.

Soap – Using a common laundry detergent or other soap, you can make a UV detected invisible ink. Using a stick or paint brush, you can write with the laundry soap. Simply make a photocopy using a copying machine to develop your message via UV light.

Lemon Juice – Another common household item, with another interesting application. Using a paintbrush, Q-tip or other stick, you can apply lemon juice as your invisible ink. Once your message is dry hold it up to a light bulb until the writing turns brown. Another way to read the invisible message is to put salt on the dry ink, then after a minute wipe the salt and rub the paper with a wax crayon.

Ink cartridges – If you really want to become a MacGyver or James Bond, then use you’re inkjet printer to do it the right way. After purchasing your new Clickinks ink cartridge, take your empty ink cartridge and you can repurpose it to print invisible ink in a professional, easy to read manner. This is also great for do it yourself water marks. You will need to pry open the plastic cap and remove the sponge. Completely wash all of the ink out of the sponge wipe any ink out of the cartridge. Replace the sponge. Use a syringe to inject the lemon juice or other invisible ink liquid into the sponge. Replace the plastic cap on the cartridge and then replace the cartridge into the printer. Make sure the text you print is in the color the ink cartridge originally was. Use the light bulb to reveal the secret message.

Have fun, and let us know what creative projects you will print in invisible ink.

HP Printers meet Web 2.0

9. December 2009 13:14 by Danielle Bernhard in photosmart, new printer, hp, hp printer ink  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
I recently saw New Moon, well honestly who hasn’t? Just as we were watching the previews, anticipating this long awaited sequel, a commercial poked its nose in. This wasn’t like any other commercial, no movie theater popcorn, this commercial was for a new HP printer. Not as exciting as the upcoming New Moon, right? Wrong! This was so amazing that there were gasps heard throughout the theater. Really! I was not the only one making notes to check this printer out. This was no boring printer. Think Web 2.0 meets printing.


Introducing HP Photosmart with TouchSmart Technology - Online. If you have seen the commercial, a smart woman demonstrates how she skips past her computer, goes directly to the printer to input an address to mapquest, hit print and voila! This is the world’s first web-connected home printer, powered by touch. Just think, print movie tickets, maps, coupons and more – all without a computer. You can even install new apps from HP. This, as well as photo editing, template printing, photo uploading and more is all available from the new HP Photosmart Premium Touchsmart Web All-in-one. This printer retails for $339 and utilizes HP 564 or 564XL High Capacity ink cartridges.

Clickinks Holiday Photo Contest

4. December 2009 14:36 by Danielle Bernhard in clickinks, photo contest, hollingsworth  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Here at Clickinks.com we are all about saving you time and money on ink, allowing you to print your beautiful photographs throughout the seasons. We know that many of you take some terrific photos, especially during this beautiful Holiday season. With that in mind we would like to invite you to participate in our first ever Facebook Photo Contest! We are giving away the following prizes:

2 amazing DSLR cameras
2 $50 Clickinks gift certificates
4 Certificates of Recognition!


How to Enter:

Visit our Clickinks Facebook Fan Page: http://bit.ly/PhotoCntst

Click on Photos, then add your favorite photo to our Fan Photos.

Get all your friends to comment on your photo!

The Contest runs until January 4th, 2010 - so don’t wait!

The Contest Details:

We are looking for the best holiday photo! There will be a 1st and second place winner as determined by Jack Hollingsworth, one of the best known stock photographers in the world, as well as a consultant and twitter notable!
There will also be another 1st and second place winner as determined by Facebook comments, so get your friends involved as they could help you win 1 of these terrific prizes.
We want you to impress us! Holiday settings are a plus, as are Clickinks Christmas trees. Use your creativity, the more you impress us, the better your shot at winning!

Behind the Scenes at HP

2. December 2009 14:52 by Danielle Bernhard in Hewlett Packard, print news, hp printer ink  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Print News: Ink Manufacturer Lets Technology Website Behind the Scenes

A recent feature on Techradar.com looks into the technology behind printing company HP’s range of ink cartridges. The story reports the technical details of HP’s manufacturing processes, and boasts some impressive statistics. For example, the reporter Dan Grabham observes that: ‘The precision needed for an inkjet nozzle to work is like dropping a grape from a 30-story building and hitting a bucket on the pavement below.’ Certainly a very precise process!


The technology website’s story marks the argument for OEM cartridges. HP’s Pat Harnett tells Techradar’s writer that ‘The physics of what happens inside a printer is quite extraordinary,’ and the article is at pains to demonstrate the technical complexity of HP’s cartridges. Though centered on a ‘manufacturing facility’ at HP’s Dublin operation, the facility resembles a mad scientist’s lab. The reader is left in no doubt of how seriously HP takes ink production.

HP’s own website outlines what it considers the benefits of its own OEM cartridges; though whether the guarantee of a quality product compensates for the inflated cost of HP’s cartridges is another matter. OEM cartridges can cost up to 86% more than non-branded ink equivalents at Clickinks.com.

Judge Rules against Lexmark in Court Case

1. December 2009 13:28 by Danielle Bernhard in print news, OEM, compatible ink, remanufactured, lexmark  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Print News: Judge Rules on Lexmark Remanufactured Ink Court Case

Recently a seven year court battle between Lexmark and a North Carolina-based company that enables compatible ink cartridges reached its final ruling. In December 2002, Lexmark sued Static Control Components for infringing on a computer program contained in its ink cartridges that made the printer inoperable, if it were found to be operating through ink cartridges refilled by companies other than Lexmark itself. Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove ruled that their circumvention of Lexmark’s chip does not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, meaning that the manufacturer may continue its activities.

The case originated in part because of the Lexmark Return Program: an initiative where consumers who sent their emptied cartridges, like the Lexmark 28A, back to Lexmark, instead of third-party businesses, received a substantial discount on future purchases. Supplementing this program with consumers, Lexmark programmed their ink cartridges to become inoperable if the ink cartridge refill occurred outside Lexmark’s premises. The program undercut the remanufacturing industry, which depends on empty cartridges, and resulted in fewer Lexmark cartridges getting recycled.

Static Control Components, a business that doesn’t itself sell compatible ink cartridges, but makes microchips for the remanufacturing industry, responded to Lexmark with the production of a ‘Smartek’ program that nullifies Lexmark’s restrictions. The chip included its own version of Lexmark’s ‘Toner Loading Program’. The company began shipping its microchip in 2002.

Lexmark’s lawsuit against the company was filed on the premise that the North Carolina-company had copied its ‘Toner Loading Program,’ and had violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Introduced in May 2001, this legislation was meant to protect the intellectual property of persons creating in a primarily digital medium. It is notable that Lexmark could not sue them for countermanding an initiative designed to undercut its competitors in the remanufacturing circuit, since this would violate competition laws. Lexmark’s attempts to prevent compatible ink cartridges from being produced through another manufacturers chip amounts to the same thing.

After a prolonged court battle extending not only from the Federal Court of Kentucky but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, it has now been ruled that Lexmark’s ‘Toner Loading Program’ does not amount to copyright-able property. Rather, the DMCA was meant to protect creative expression in film and music mediums and cannot be easily applied to a computer program or printer cartridge. Today’s decision amounts to a victory for the remanufacturing industry, which has enjoyed a contentious relationship with major brands while recycling ink cartridges.