Friday, July 23, 2010

Oddly enough, this post on Printrak doesn't require an FCC disclosure

On my blog posts, and even on comments that I make in other areas, I intentionally satisfy (perhaps over-satisfy) the spirit of the "FCC disclosure" requirements. For example, if I'm talking about Motorola mobile phones, I will self-disclose that I was formerly an employee of Motorola.

Before I was an employee of Motorola, I was an employee of Printrak International Inc. (which was acquired by Motorola in late 2000). Despite the fact that I became, in Motorola insider terms, a "Motorolan," there were (and are) a number of references to "Printrak" that continue to appear in the biometrics industry. This is partially because we used "Printrak" as a product name (rather than a company name) for a while. Regardless, it was sometimes easier to find information about my business unit by searching for "Printrak" rather than searching for "Motorola."

But recently, when I performed searches for Printrak, I began getting some hits on Australian items. In a sense, this wasn't surprising, since there was a brief period of time where Printrak International Inc. had an Australian subsidiary. However, the hits that I was receiving had nothing to do with computer aided dispatch (we had a CAD customer in Australia) or anything like that.

I finally began digging, and found out that there is a Printrak that bears no relation to the Printrak that I know and love. In fact, it seems fairly certain that this entity conceived of the name "Printrak" entirely independently. Here's the biography of Printrak's founder, Paola Tanner:

Originally from South America Paola fell in love with an Aussie and moved to Australia where she founded Printrak. Paola is the supporting pillar of the company. She works alongside her team to ensure the company runs smoothly. Her focus is on keeping the team engaged and she gets closely involved with each client to develop a unique solution to suit their needs. Paola's philosophy of helping people individually to grow a brand and chain has been the roots of the Printrak business model, developing systems and customer service standards to ensure an efficient process all the way. Although she looks small, her little body holds a lot of passion and enthusiasm, reflected in everything she does She loves her sports and loves using skiing, bush walking or mountain bike riding as an excuse to go travelling with camping as her first preference.

Paola was a finalist for Telstra's Businesswomens awards in the young category.

To my knowledge, neither Paola nor Nick ever worked for, or had any contact with, Printrak International Inc.'s Australian subsidiary.

Yet in a sense, the whole point is mute, since this appears on the main web page for Printrak:

Of course, I'm not sure how this company would react. However, there wouldn't appear to be any confusion in the market, since a company that sells fuses is very much unlike a marketing company...or a company that sells automated fingerprint identification systems and computer aided dispatch systems.
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