On the 13th of September owners of HP printers worldwide recently took notice that their printers no longer seemed to recognise unofficial ink cartridges. In a statement released HP admitted that with their latest firmware update to the printer system, settings have been changed to only support the communication between HP printers and HP official ink cartridges. However the change in settings actually disabled consumers to use budget ink cartridges and instead now will be forced to purchase official HP cartridges which are considerably more expensive.

HP did state, however, that refilled andremanufactured cartridges with an original HP security chip will continue to workwiththe printers.

The printers that were affected by this change are theHP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X printers.

Backlash from Dutch ink vendor

A Dutch online ink vendor, 123inkt, announced that they have received around 3,000 complaints since the settings were changed and following that are now working on establishing a foundation that will represent consumers in a possible lawsuit against HP. Consumers who will purchase HP ink cartridges in the following days via their website can sign up for this foundation and will be helped by 123inkt to claim for damages.

Besides helping the Consumer receive compensation for direct damages, 123inkt is also planning to sue HP to prevent similar problems happening in the future.

While HP claims that the effects were due to their update, 123inkt do not believe that claim. They tested multiple printers in their storage that were not connected to the internet, and even these printers have showed to not recognise unofficial ink cartridges.

123inkt did some further research and found even printers with older firmware versions started to reject unofficial cartridges since the 13th of September. This led them to conclude that the settings were pre-programmed in older versions of the firmware and therefore was not effect of the recent firmware update. HP’s statement was therefore seen by 123inkt as false and misleading.

HP takes over Samsung’s printer business

HP recently announced that they agreed to buy Samsung’s printer business for $1 billion and did so in order to disrupt and reinvent the printer industry. Nowadays the use of printers has started to decrease. With the ability now to easily save and share their documents online there has been a reduced need to have hard copies of files. Taking over Samsung’s industry share gives HP access to Samsung’s printer Technology and more than 6,500 patents specialising in laser capabilities. HP said the deal will help them to invest in better technology,tackling the increasing number offrustratedcustomers with broken printers.