HGD Ink Cartridge Antitrust Lawsuit
HGD attorneys have filed a lawsuit alleging that HP intentionally incapacitated the printers of consumers who use non-HP ink cartridges. HP caused those printers to fail on a specific date if a non-HP cartridge was in use. HGD has alleged that HP violated US antitrust laws and consumer protection laws by causing HP printers to fail for using non-HP ink.
THOUSANDS OF HP PRINTER FAILURES REPORTED
Consumers with HP Printers using non-HP ink cartridges began reporting failures on September 13, 2016. These failures were not the result of a malfunction in their printers, but were intentionally caused by software created by HP and uploaded to a consumer’s printer disguised as a firmware update. This code caused the printers to display an error message, malfunction and become inoperable so long as the user used certain third-party, remanufactured or refilled ink cartridges.
This error message reads: “Cartridge Problem. The following ink cartridges appear to be missing or damaged. Replace the cartridges and resume printing.”
Users who tried to download an older version of HP’s printer firmware in order to bypass the error code were unable to as they found that HP had deleted all links to the older firmware files from its website.
An investigation by the Dutch company 1234inkt indicates that HP allegedly included a failure date in its printer firmware that triggered the error for all printers using non-HP cartridges starting on September 13, 2016. “An in-depth investigation of the issue revealed that only HP printers were affected, and all started having problems on the same day, out of the blue,” according to 1234Inkt representatives. 1234Inkt News Story
HP Admits to sabotaging printers
In response to the ensuing media disaster, HP issued a statement admitting that it programmed the printers to fail in order “to protect HP’s innovations and intellectual property.”
In addition to the harm to the end-user consumer, HP’s sabotage of non-HP ink cartridges is causing significant economic harm to companies that sell generic printer ink. Consumers are returning generic printer cartridge products designed for HP Printers and all the generic product designed for HP on the shelves is worthless.
WERE YOU NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY HP’S CONDUCT?
If you (1) own one of the affected models of HP printers listed here, (2) have experienced an error message on your printer since September 13, 2016 caused by the use of non-HP ink, or (3) if your ink business suffered as a result of HP’s alleged creation of the error messages, we may be able to help. Please call toll-free (800) 241-9779 or fill out the form to the right to get a free attorney consultation.