Home Print Solutions HP hits back at Choice over printer ink cartridge claims

Printer maker HP has hit back at Choice over the consumer advocacy group's announcement that it is investigating whether the company might have breached Australian Consumer Law when it was reported to have issued a firmware update to “block consumers using cheaper third-party ink cartridges”.

In a statement issued on Thursday, an HP spokeswoman said the company “does not prevent customers from printing with refilled or remanufactured ink cartridges using an Original HP security chip”.

“The updated firmware relies on HP's dynamic security technology; because of the nature of security, we are not prepared to provide information on how it works,” the statement says.

HP also says that its printers are designed to be compatible with refilled and remanufactured cartridges that use Original HP chips, and “HP printers do not employ technology preventing their use”.

“By contrast, HP printers do include security features designed to protect HP’s intellectual property contained in Original HP chips.”

Choice said on Wednesday it had been reported that many HP printers with third-party ink cartridges displayed error messages such as "cartridge problem", "one or more cartridges are missing or damaged" or "older generation cartridge" following a firmware update issued by the printer giant.

Here’s the full statement from HP in response to Choice:

“HP is constantly improving security for its products and customers. Beginning in 2015, HP implemented updates to the firmware related to the security chip in HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X printer that maintain secure communications between the cartridge and the printer.  The purpose of this update is to protect HP’s innovations and intellectual property. These printers will continue to work with refilled or remanufactured cartridges with an Original HP security chip.  Other cartridges may not function.  In many cases this functionality was installed in the HP printer and in some cases it has been implemented as part of an update to the printer’s firmware.

“This impacts only ink cartridges compatible with OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X print cartridges with an non-HP security chip with HP product numbers 934/935, 950/951 and 970/971.

“Affected customers are encouraged to contact the supplier of the ink cartridge to determine if their cartridges use a non-HP security chip. HP Original ink cartridges (product numbers 934/935, 950/951, and 970/971) always include an Original HP security chip.

“The cartridge and chip design – and the functions that design enables – are key to the output quality and reliability of the system. A significant percentage of a printer’s technology is within the cartridge and chip, and must be carefully developed and tested to ensure optimal performance. This also protects customers from counterfeit print supplies.

“This is not linked to any recent firmware update, in most cases the printer came with this firmware. HP does not prevent customers from printing with refilled or remanufactured ink cartridges using an Original HP security chip. The updated firmware relies on HP's dynamic security technology; because of the nature of security, we are not prepared to provide information on how it works.

“In many cases the firmware, which serves to protect HP’s innovations and intellectual property, came with the concerned HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X printers. The security update was also included in a firmware update which was sent only to customers who either agreed to updates at the time of set-up or who accepted updates in subsequent communications.

“HP has designed its Inkjet printing systems to provide the best overall value, offering consumers an unrivalled combination of quality, reliability, speed and ease of use at competitive prices.

“Many customers may not be aware of the value of technology packed into HP print cartridges, including the Original HP chip on those cartridges. It’s commonly assumed that all of the intelligence is in the printer itself. The cartridge and chip design – and the functions that design enables – are key to the output quality and reliability of the system. A significant percentage of a printer’s technology is within the cartridge and chip, and must be carefully developed and tested to ensure optimal performance.

“HP updates are intended to improve user experience, fix bugs and strengthen security. In fact, we have security features designed to protect HP’s intellectual property contained in Original HP chips. Notifications and updates that populate are never intended to impact remanufactured cartridges that were originally genuine and/or that use Original HP chips."

LEARN NBN TRICKS AND TRAPS WITH FREE NBN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Did you know: Key business communication services may not work on the NBN?

Would your office survive without a phone, fax or email?

Avoid disruption and despair for your business.

Learn the NBN tricks and traps with your FREE 10-page NBN Business Survival Guide

The NBN Business Survival Guide answers your key questions:

· When can I get NBN?
· Will my business phones work?
· Will fax & EFTPOS be affected?
· How much will NBN cost?
· When should I start preparing?

DOWNLOAD NOW!

Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

 

 

 

Connect

Join the iTWire Community and be part of the latest news, invites to exclusive events, whitepapers and educational materials and oppertunities.
Why do I want to receive this daily update?
  • The latest features from iTWire
  • Free whitepaper downloads
  • Industry opportunities