Actionable Intelligence’s Top 10 Stories of 2023

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Every December, I present Actionable Intelligence’s 10 most popular stories. While every year’s top articles shed light on major trends in printer hardware and supplies, seldom is the overarching theme as glaring as it was in 2023. From the perspective of Actionable Intelligence’s readers, 2023 was the year that the United States banned Ninestar due to a determination that the firm used forced labor. Five of our top 10 stories pertain in one way or another to this unprecedented action.

One thing that did surprise me, however, is that none of our articles on Ninestar’s lawsuit aimed at overturning the United States’ decision and getting its products flowing back into the United States cracked this year’s top 10. You may occasionally see coverage of the litigation on other websites; however, I can say with confidence that Actionable Intelligence’s legal coverage is first and best, and others follow our lead in this area. This litigation is essential to watch moving forward into 2024. To follow our coverage of Ninestar’s lawsuit, bookmark the tag Ninestar Corporation et al. v. United States et al. (2023).

Another thing that grabbed my attention when compiling this year’s top 10 list is that Actionable Intelligence readers value in-depth coverage based on solid research and primary resources. In a year in which pretty much everybody heralded artificial intelligence (AI) as the year’s top trend, nary a one of our top stories was something ChatGPT could have written. And the popularity of these types of information-rich articles illustrates that readers can easily distinguish between the pablum produced by a couple of press releases or articles summarized by ChatGPT and detailed articles based on primary research with analysis by industry experts.

And that brings me to my plea. If you value our content, subscribe and encourage your colleagues to do so. We don’t take advertising so as to maintain our editorial independence, and the research and writing we do are expensive, meaning we depend on subscribers to stay in business. If real researchers and writers disappear, we’ll end up in a world where everybody throws the same ChatGPT-generated press releases into ChatGPT to write articles that vary only in the ChatGPT persona applied. Adjectives will abound but actual information will be scarce.

But now that my shameless plug for subscriptions is over with, I bring you Actionable Intelligence’s top stories of 2023:

  1. A Closer Look at the UFLPA Ban on Ninestar Goods and the Impact So Far: This was one of our first major research-based articles following the June 9 announcement that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security had put Ninestar and certain subsidiaries on a list of companies whose imports were restricted due to their violation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). This article explained what the UFLPA was, how it is enforced, and took a look at what we saw happening with continued shipments from Ninestar entities into the United States in the month following the ban.
  2. Over 500 Toner Cartridge Listings Removed from Amazon Because of Infringing Chips: HP is normally pretty quiet about its Amazon takedowns, but we learned about some compatible cartridges that HP had persuaded Amazon to take down because they used chips from Ninestar’s Geehy/Apex Microelectronics group that infringed HP’s intellectual property.
  3. Ninestar Imports Banned by U.S. Government Due to Forced Labor Concerns: This was our initial article on the Ninestar ban following the announcement from DHS. We took a look at what subsidiaries were banned and which weren’t, such as U.S.-based businesses Lexmark and Static Control, and we shared Ninestar’s very first statement about what happened.
  4. Lexmark Seeks to Reassure Partners after U.S. Ban on Ninestar: This article focuses on a letter Lexmark released to customers and partners in the wake of the ban declaring that it was ceasing shipments from Ninestar and instead using other suppliers. We questioned how easy the switch would be to make considering what we had observed from past shipments into the United States and based on a U.S. Customs and Border Protection ruling about how China, not Mexico, would be the country of origin for certain popular Lexmark printer models.
  5. HP Sues Third-Party Cartridge Sellers over Lookalike Trade Dress: Actionable Intelligence was the first to report on a very interesting lawsuit filed by HP against online third-party cartridge sellers over a pervasive problem on ecommerce platforms like Amazon: firms selling non-HP cartridges in lookalike trade dress that deceives buyers.
  6. MicroNet Solutions Finds Ninestar and Subsidiaries Are Source for Chips on Counterfeit HP Supplies: Actionable Intelligence discovered a report from a company specializing in analyzing chips that found chips from Ninestar and subsidiaries were used on counterfeit HP cartridges.
  7. Ninestar Subsidiaries Begin to React to U.S. Embargo: Similar to our number-one article of 2023, this one looks at shipments from Ninestar into the United States following the ban and how various Ninestar brands continued to be widely available on e-commerce platforms in the United States.
  8. Lexmark Issues Official Statement in Response to U.S. Ban on Ninestar: Here, we look at Lexmark’s first public statement on its website following the Ninestar ban.
  9. Planet Green Sues Amazon for a Whopping $500 Million: Actionable Intelligence was the first to report on a lawsuit that ink cartridge remanufacturer Planet Green Cartridges filed against Amazon seeking over $500 million in damages because it alleged the online marketplace falsely advertised new-build compatible cartridges as remanufactured. And, of course, we continued to cover the case. For more, see Planet Green Cartridges v. Amazon et al. (2023).
  10. HP and HPE to Settle Age-Discrimination Class Action for $18 Million: It seems folks like reading about the conclusions of long-running lawsuits just as much as they do the initial complaint. After seven years, HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) finally agreed to settle with older workers laid off as part of the firms’ ongoing workforce reductions in years prior.

Have you got a press release, information, or a story idea you would like to share? Don’t hesitate to reach out and help shape the most popular articles of 2024. You can email me at editor@action-intell.com.

Wishing you all a merry and bright holiday season and a successful start to the New Year.

—Christina Bonadio, Executive Editor, Actionable Intelligence

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