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Highlights from Baird's RFID Monthly for March

Baird has published the March edition of . The company is now publishing content on a rolling basis to the website , so you can check there for updates over the course of the month. Today's article offers highlights.
Mar 23, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

March 23, 2009—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has published the March edition of RFID Monthly. The company is now publishing content on a rolling basis to the website rfid-monthly.com, so you can check there for updates over the course of the month. The complete PDF version of the monthly report is here. Following are highlights:
  • Does RFID Have Longevity? Given Sam's pushback, P&G's retreat from Wal-Mart and the weakened economy resulting in less capital for RFID, we suggested tag volumes would likely be down in the first part of 2009. In addition, Zebra recently took a $143M charge to impair RFID-related goodwill. With all of this bad news showering down on the RFID industry, we have fielded questions about the industry's ability to survive on a long-term basis. While we believe the near term will contain a good amount of challenge, and while we expect to see some players leave the industry, we see several factors that suggest RFID will survive in the long run.
  • P&G Terminates Display Tagging; Wal-Mart Projects Scaling Back. P&G terminated its RFID display tagging project with Wal-Mart in mid-February. While P&G appeared to be getting good insight from the data, associated process changes were difficult to implement with Wal-Mart. (See RFID Leader P&G Steps Back from Promotions Tracking.) We have also heard that several other consumer product vendors are pulling back and overall tagging associated with Wal-Mart has slowed significantly. Most players that are still tagging have reverted to "slap and ship" to meet any requirements.
  • Weak Highway Funding May Boost RFID Tolling. The weak macro-environment is leading Americans to drive fewer miles, and use less gas. One key impact is fewer tax receipts related to gas consumption, which is a key component of highway funding. We expect the federal and state governments will increasingly explore tolling as an incremental revenue source. We expect RFID-based tolling, a proven solution, will generate good interest.
  • RFID Patent Issues Heating Up -- Avery Has Patent Reexamined. We wanted to revisit Avery's status of its 6,951,596 patent and its related lawsuit against Alien and Toray after researching the potential impact from the reexamination of the patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We believe the patent will likely see some changes to the patent claims, but history is a bit mixed on the overall impact.

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