HP’s business model depends on the sale of expensive printer ink and consumables and it feels that some of its channel partners have betrayed it by offering cheaper knock-offs
It has issued a warning that it will aggressively combat partners trading in counterfeit, cloned and imitation print cartridges.
HP’s EMEA print general manager David Ryan has told the press that he is taking a zero-tolerance approach as it looks to stem the bleeding in its print supplies business.
He said that some partners don’t realise that these cartridges are violating intellectual property, and that is something we will tackle vigorously.
HP will work with “loyal partners” to take all the action we can where illegal trading practices are being engaged.
He said imitation cartridges that HP has tested have “high failure rates and poor print quality”, while many fail Blue Angel tests (a German certification for environmentally friendly products) or can damage the printer.
These reasons, he claimed, can mean that buying cheaper cartridges is more expensive in the long run.
HP has blocked the use of third-party cartridges in its printers.
In 2016 it pushed a firmware update that blocked the use of unofficial HP cartridges in its printers, claiming it was to protect customers, only to reverse the decision following public outrage.
This time the cunning plan is to educate channel partners and customers on why its own products are the better option.