News happens fast in all sectors of our industry, including papercrafts and scrapbooking. We have Nancy Nally here to roundup the latest and keep us up to date. Nancy is the owner of Nally Studios and the publisher and editor of Scrapbook Update and Craft Critique. An avid scrapbooker for more than 20 years, Nancy constantly has her eye on news and trends. Here’s what’s happened over the summer and into the early fall of 2019 in scrapbooking and papercrafts.
Artograph Assets Bought By Studio Designs
The LightPad Pro.
Founded in Minnesota in 1947, Artograph is known for its image projection products such as opaque projectors, the EZ Tracer®, the Tracer®, and the PrismTM Projector. Those products, along with the LightTracer® and LightPad® LXTM series of products, will now be manufactured and distributed by Studio Designs.
The two companies had previously collaborated on an Artograph LightPad® support system that worked with a Studio Designs glass top drawing table. With the retirement of Artograph president and CEO Don Dow, the partnership built during their collaboration became an acquisition.
Scott Maynes, Studio Designs’ President, shared in the announcement: “We are very excited to continue the legacy of the Artograph name. Don was always passionate about creating new products for artists. We want to continue this innovation by continuing to bring to market new products that help artists and educators create and present their work effortlessly.”
Mrs. Grossman’s Retail Store & Factory Tours Close Down
As of July 31, sticker fans are no longer able to visit, tour, and shop at Mrs. Grossman’s sticker factory in Petaluma, California. The company announced in mid-July that it would be shutting down consumer operations at the factory at the end of the month. Insurance issues stemming from the sale of a division of the company and the sharing of the factory are blamed in the announcement. The factory will remain in production, making popular Mrs. Grossman’s stickers like the iconic red heart that is the company’s logo. While Mrs. Grossman’s fans can no longer shop for their favorite stickers at the factory itself, they can still buy direct from the company via the company’s website.
ClearSnap Closes Down
Image via BrownPidgeon on Etsy.
Burlington, Washington-based ClearSnap announced in July that it was closing down after nearly 30 years producing inks for crafting and manufacturing applications.
Known to crafters for its ColorBox brand, the company’s Petal Point and Cat’s Eye ink pads had long been a staple on big box craft store shelves. For many stampers, these products were their first introduction to stamping because of their accessibility. But in recent years, the company’s products (like many others) had been increasingly squeezed off of big-box shelves by private label products.
ClearSnap, which in addition to its own brand of inks produced private label items, gave customers until July 31st to place orders for production as part of the shutdown. The company didn’t give a firm date for closure of operations, but as of mid-September their website was no longer operating.
ClearSnap was purchased in 2006 by the Gardner family, which also owns Stampin’ Up!, but the ink company was being run by Sterling Gardner as a separate entity from the direct sales company.
Craftwell Shutting Down eCraftCentral
Craftwell, which formerly made the eCraft electronic die cut machine, has announced that they will be shutting down the eCraft Central website on October 1. The website sells cut designs for use with the machine, which originally launched in 2010. Craftwell is now focusing on manual die-cutting machines, with the Cut n’ Boss and other machines, including one licensed with the Teresa Collins brand.
Industry Litigation Continues
Ellison Educational (the parent company of Sizzix) has continued to press patent infringement lawsuits against several industry companies in the past few months. In late 2018 and early 2019, the company filed legal action against five industry companies for allegedly violating a patent it holds on die technology. The suit against Prima Marketing was settled earlier this year. On August 5, Ellison’s suit against Avery Elle also ended in the court dismissing it in response to a request from both companies due to a confidential settlement having been reached.
The three remaining Ellison patent infringement cases are currently in a relatively quiet period with little court action. The first case filed by Ellison, against Stephanie Barnard’s company, has seen only a protective order to prevent public disclosure of proprietary information issued in the past few months.
Ellison’s most recent case, against Heartfelt Creations, has seen no new docketed court action since the end of May except for routine paperwork for the addition of an out-of-state attorney to the case.
The Hero Arts case has seen the most – and the most important – action in the past few months. On August 16, the two parties filed their Joint Claim Construction statement with the court. This document lays out in detail where Ellison and Hero Arts agree and disagree on the meaning and interpretation of terms and descriptions in the language of the patent. Which party’s interpretation of the patent is ultimately deemed correct will be critical in determining the outcome of the case.
Another company that has been involved in litigation lately has been My Sweet Petunia. After settling their suit against Tonic over allegations that the Tim Holtz platform violated their MISTI patent, the company turned their attention to Stampin’ Up! and their stamp platform. That litigation is now in the fact discovery phase, which is currently scheduled to last into December.
Nancy is a life-long crafter, freelance writer, and the former editor of Creative Retailer magazine. She blogs craft industry trade news at her website Scrapbook Update. You can also find her crafts and lifestyle content at Chasing Dust Bunnies and Craft Critique.