HP Tells Retailers They're Infringing Patents By Refilling Ink Cartridges

from the any-way-possible-to-stop-the-competition dept

The various makers of inkjet printers have been particularly nasty in trying to protect their market. As most of you know, they have a razor/razor blades model of doing business. They sell the printers cheap, and then load up on selling you expensive ink. The ink, you'll recall, costs more than expensive perfume, whiskey, or vintage champagne. Apparently, if you filled an Olympic-sized swimming pool with inkjet ink at retail prices, it would cost you $6 billion (yes, with a b). On top of that, there have been reports (disputed by the printer companies) that many of the ink cartridges are designed to "expire" before the ink is actually gone -- boosting revenue even more.

With that in mind, you can understand why the companies involved may pull out all the stops to prevent any competition in selling ink for their printers. A favorite of the companies is to use any and all forms of intellectual property laws to stop competitive sales. Lexmark was a big fan of using the DMCA to claim a competitor was violating copyright law. Luckily the courts slapped down that clear misuse of the DMCA (multiple times). So, without copyright law, how about trademark violations for those selling "unauthorized" printer products? However, in recent months, it's been patents that the printer firms have focused on. Epson went after a bunch of retailers who sold refilled ink cartridges claiming patent infringement, and successfully convinced some to stop. Now, it's HP's turn. The company already went after those who actually refill the cartridges, but now they've decided to go after big name retailers who will refill your cartridges for you. Specifically, they're targeting Walgreens and Office Max -- though, they say they're coming to an agreement. It's hard to see how anyone could get a patent on refilling an ink cartridge, but this is a clear example of simply trying to kill off any competition, rather than promote innovation.


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  1.  
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    claire rand, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 12:09am

    invalid business model (again)

    razor/razor blades *works* since its hard to 'refill' a blade, i suppose you could sharpen them as a service, but your not going to make money doing it.

    inkjet printer/injet ink *will never* work since its easy to supply ink.

    i suppose the analogy is a seperate manufacturer selling individual blades for razors, and you replace the blades in the little plastic head yourself.

    trying to apply this model to printers is along the lines of a car maker trying to use legal tricks to make you buy fuel from them and only them, it won't work cus fuel is availble elsewhere, the brand name adds little to the product.

    for a razor the brand name typically means the razor head will actually fit and work, if anyone else could make razor blade heads that worked, and do it cheaper they would.

    oh yes and first... sigh.

     

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  2.  
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    Thaynius, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 1:04am

    You can't be serious...

    Wow. $6 billion for an olympic pool worth of ink. Talk about outrageous. I'm glad I'm not on the ink bandwagon anymore.

    I went on eBay and bought a CISS/CIS (or whatever you wish to label it) for my Epson Photo R340. For $25, plus shipping, I won all 6 colors (yes, it uses 6 colors) of self-resetting cartridges, tubing and external tanks all preassembled and filled with 3-4 cartridges of ink each. It was installed within 30 minutes with no mess.

    Re-Inks / Atlantic Ink Jet sold me bulk inks that are compatible for a fraction of the price. I have 1 liter of black ($35.00, 76 cartirdges worth) and each of the 5 colors in 250 ml sizes ($12.50, 19 cartridges worth).

    With an olympic size pool being roughly 2500 m3, I calculate my price to be around $875,000 US, buying by the litre without a quantity discount. That's what... almost 1/7000th of the price?

    ...not to mention that I only have to fill my ink tanks 1/6th as often and can print my own photos cheaper than Wal-Mart can sell them to me at the same quality. :D

    By the way, it's true that the cartridges "expire" before they're fully depleted for both Canon and Epson printers. While they're not on a timer, it counts down the number of pages you print with each color and won't let you print anymore after a certain point. That's why I bought the CISS, so I wouldn't have to use a chip resetter when I refilled the traditional way.

    If that wasn't bad, supposedly Epson also "shuts down" your printer and makes it say that it needs to be serviced by a technician if you use the Nozzle Check or Print Head Cleaning features too many times. Can't provide links on this one, sorry.

     

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  3.  
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    Milt Friedman, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 1:18am

    Doomed to failure

    HP, Epson, Canon and the other printer manufacturers have a printer-business model that can not be sustained in the long term. That's because they are pricing their ink not on what the market will bear, but on what it will bear without competition from ink refillers and discounters.

    Yes, I realize that intellectual property is a factor, and printer companies have every right to earn back their investment in research. What they don't seem to realize is, the more they artificially drive up the price of their ink, the more profitable becomes the ink refilling business -- and the more competition there will be. The answer? Make a better prodict instead of fighting it out in court!!

    Frankly, the price gouging has made me so angry that I just don't print anything anymore. In any case, the cartridges dry up so quickly that I seldom get more than 20 pages printed before I need to replace the ink. I wish there was a Moore's Law for the printer industry!

     

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  4.  
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    Thaynius, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 1:26am

    Cheap Ink Without Refilling

    I almost forgot to mention earlier a cheaper alternative to replacing ink cartridges if you don't feel like refilling them.

    Wal-Mart sells a $28 printer (Lexmark Z515 I believe) that comes complete with a full set of ink cartridges (retail $36-40 alone), USB cable, photo paper, etc.

    Sure, you don't get awesome photo quality, but it sufficed for me the last two years of college. Also, after the first one, you don't even need to worry about drivers. I have a stack of used ones in my garage now if anybody would like one. lol

     

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    Publius, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 3:52am

    Printing Alternatives

    Printing at work is an even better alternative

     

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  6.  
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    claire rand, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 4:08am

    print shed?

    i heard of someone who had a shed full of em as well. local pcworld had a special offer on lexmarks, in the days they had decent carts in em, 20 quid a throw, he bought loads. took the carts out of the boxes and reflogged the printers (dunno where) hope for his sake the carts didn't have a 'use by' date enforced.

    since the black cart cost more than the printer, and you got a colour one the only snag is lugging th boxes back.

    'course these days you only geta 'trial' cart included so theres less scope for this these days. pity.

    and yes printing at work *is* even better, a3 colour laser... :-)

     

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    Long Legs, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 4:17am

    "the brand name adds little to the product."

    So true, I get mine refilled from Cartridge World. It only takes a few minutes plus its tested before I get it.....less than half the price of branded ink. People should take the finger out and start availing of these services more!

     

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    Angry Rivethead, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 4:31am

    Hmmm...

    The prices for ink cartridges IS totally assinine. However...how much stuff are you guys PRINTING!? When I was in gradeschool in the early 80's printing was nearly a nesessity due to the lack of networked computers and he like. They told us THEN that paper would be obsolete by the time we finished highschool(early 90's). Now...we didn't quite make that timeline. BUT I don't have a printer at home. I don't NEED to print anything. Any comunication is emailed. I think directions were the last thing I printed...and that was like 2 years ago. What the HELL are you guys printing so much for?

     

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    PersonX, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 5:30am

    Re: Hmmm...

    To angry rivethead: Well, I'm a semi-pro photographer (its my part-time hobby/job) and I do quite a bit of high-quality inkjet prints on glossy paper, its usually slightly cheaper than getting it printed at your local photo lab, thats quite a bit of ink, and its rediculously expensive. I just paid nearly $22 for 0.27 fluid ounces of color ink. I just put a refil kit on order....no more pilaging of my wallet from HP.

     

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    Dosquatch, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 5:39am

    Dot Matrix, bay-beeeee!

    Sure, they're big, expensive & noisy, and they don't do such a great job on your photos, but ribbons are CHEAP!

     

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    Scott, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 7:21am

    Best way I found to save $

    If you shop around usually you can find printers on sale, clearance, with a good rebate, etc.. to make it cheap enough where you can buy the whole printer, use the free ink that comes with it.. then sell the printer on ebay and then go buy a new printer for less money than just refilling the ink.

    It's sort of a pain in the ass, but it's really fun to do just to show people how messed up the printer business model is.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 7:31am

    Fine HP, sue away - I'll keep that in mind now when I go to staples this weekend and price out printers. I need to replace the old 4L I have - actually, I was going to buy toner for it, but I seen a Brother Laser Jet for 10 bucks more than the toner cartridge for the LaserJet. They're selling printers dirt cheap like that because they make more off the ink and toner than they do the printer's themselves.

     

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  13.  
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    Tyshaun, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 7:32am

    as usual, it seems that techDit commentors way too

    1) I agree, print cartridges are very overpriced
    2) I agree, the printer companies enforcing theirpricing models is a lot like extortion...

    That's where my agreement ends. Let's face facts, your average joe-schmo computer owner would rather slap down the high cost of buying a cartridge then to go through the perceived bother of refilling them themselves. Those who say HP and EPSONS businsess models are not sustainable have overlooked one minor details, their business models have been around for decades and they still rake in incredible profits. The ability to refill ink cartridges came out almost right after affordable inkjets, meaning that if in that 10-15 year period HP and Epson haven't gone bankrupt, what makes you think they will?

    I applaud techDirt readers for being idealistic and inventive in trying to break down monopolistic practices, but let's not confuse idealism with reality. Reality is that most people don't use their printers enough to mind paying a high price to replace cartridges (I buy maybe 2 black, and 1 color every year or so), and the printer companies know that. Their business model is actually really smart, give away the part that actually does cost money, but will last a long time (the printer), and bleed you dry on the stuff that's cheap to make and has a rather short shelf-life (ink). Basically, you create a huge and guaranteed revenue stream that you couldn't get by doing it the other way around (in fact, that's the way they used to sell dot matrix printers, expensive printers, cheap ribbons, not as smart an idea).

     

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  14.  
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    Tyshaun, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 7:32am

    as usual, it seems that techDit commentors way too

    1) I agree, print cartridges are very overpriced
    2) I agree, the printer companies enforcing theirpricing models is a lot like extortion...

    That's where my agreement ends. Let's face facts, your average joe-schmo computer owner would rather slap down the high cost of buying a cartridge then to go through the perceived bother of refilling them themselves. Those who say HP and EPSONS businsess models are not sustainable have overlooked one minor details, their business models have been around for decades and they still rake in incredible profits. The ability to refill ink cartridges came out almost right after affordable inkjets, meaning that if in that 10-15 year period HP and Epson haven't gone bankrupt, what makes you think they will?

    I applaud techDirt readers for being idealistic and inventive in trying to break down monopolistic practices, but let's not confuse idealism with reality. Reality is that most people don't use their printers enough to mind paying a high price to replace cartridges (I buy maybe 2 black, and 1 color every year or so), and the printer companies know that. Their business model is actually really smart, give away the part that actually does cost money, but will last a long time (the printer), and bleed you dry on the stuff that's cheap to make and has a rather short shelf-life (ink).

     

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  15.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 7:38am

    Businesses are jacking up the price and starting to cry infringement cuz its a known fact that not a lot of people print anymore. So rather than the company scale down (I understand not wanting to do this) or some up with some way to generate interest in printing again they just decided to install measures that force people to occasionally buy more cartridges.

    I would like to know the production costs of this high priced ink. Its obviously more costly than pen ink or else pens would cost like $5 a piece (and thats just for basic Bic pens).

    Technology has forced a change in the business model of printers and ink. The companies don't want the model to change so they cry infridgment. Sound familiar?

     

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  16.  
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    Jeff, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    I find it hard to believe that its cheaper to print your own photos than to send them out to a service like Shutterfly. My wife takes tons of pictures of our kids and Shutterfly is far less expensive than replacing ink jet cartridges every other week.

     

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  17.  
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    Topher3105, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 8:06am

    Get a clue!

    Honestly, what most people ar bitching about here is they don't want to spend $120 to refil their $40 printer. Epson and HP are losing money by selling $40 printers and having people refill their inks elsewhere.

    The SOLUTION! Make the Printer $500 like they used to be and sell ink CHEAP!.

    You people want your $40 printer and then want to spend pennies to refill it, THAT BUSINESS MODEL will never work.

    Instead, I would much rather pay $500 for a high quality photo printer, and then have the choice to buy my ink where ever I want and to have ink cheaper overall.

    Typically, Epson and HP know what they are doing when it comes to ink technology compared to some Tawain ink maker that gets all their ink from the same drum for EVERY printer. When your pinter becomes clogged and print quality drops, don't blame Epson or HP when your using cheap 3rd party ink.

    But, in the long run, don't expect to pay peanuts for ink when your paying peanuts for the printer.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 8:26am

    We should take over china

     

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  19.  
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    JerseyRich, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 8:56am

    I stopped using inkjet printing for text two years ago. I was tired of getting raped.

    For text I use a long-lasting (still expensive but much cheaper thank inkjet) laser printer. Plus, it doesn't 'expire' or dry up.

    For casual photo printing I use inkjet but I do that rarely so the price doesn't really matter.

     

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  20.  
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    JerseyRich, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 9:01am

    THE BOTTOM LINE IS

    ....TWO PRINTERS:

    One quality LASER for 95% of docs. Laser is way cheaper than inkjet for text and simple black and white photos/images.

    One quality inkjet printer for color images and photo-quality printing for the other 5%. This method seems more expensive (two printers....) but is actually much cheaper in the long run.

    Also, yes, I agree you can't have BOTH cheap printers and cheap ink.

     

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  21.  
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    Bornslippy, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 9:30am

    Find a happy medi

    Why don’t the manufacturers lower the price to a point where people would print more and possibly buy extra cartridges for backup? With the increased ink sales the companies should at least make the same profit or maybe even more with the inflated prices of today. Plus with people using their printers more they will need replaced a little sooner and low and behold a little more profit.

     

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  22.  
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    Mike Mixer, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 10:07am

    Printer Mafia

    This was my recipe for getting off the printer treadmill
    I bought an OkiData laser printer at a second hand store for 5 bucks. I found a replacement carrier and cartridge setup at another for 1.50 and it was unopened with a bonus cleaning kit. The printer works like new and I haven't had to refill the drum yet although I did price toner and it's way cheap. For color stuff I go to an office store. It comes out perfect and I don't have to mess with all of the crap.
    You may say I got lucky but a lot of good laser printers are in second hand stores along with all of the crappy inkjets that get thrown away so they get
    scrap prices put on them so they'll move. Try it and get off the treadmill.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 10:07am

    Re: Get a clue!

    "Typically, Epson and HP know what they are doing when it comes to ink technology compared to some Tawain ink maker that gets all their ink from the same drum for EVERY printer. When your pinter becomes clogged and print quality drops, don't blame Epson or HP when your using cheap 3rd party ink."

    We're not talking rocket science here. If a room full of Tiawanese entrepreneurs can't figure out quality ink, there's little hope that anyone else can.

    I've been using 3rd party ink by the litre (~quart) for over a year now without any print quality or clogging problems. With a shelf life of roughly 6 years, I'll take my "drum" ink over your expensive little cartridges anyday.

    What business model the printer companies choose is of little consequence to me. I'm the consumer, not the CEO.

     

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  24.  
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    Tom, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 10:11am

    Two printers...doesn't always work

    To the guy who suggested two printers, um...not so fast...

    That is exactly what we did for the past while. A laser prints 95+% of all we printk, and the inkjet printed the rest. Unfortunately, our ink cartridges were drying up so fast that we had to replace them every 6-8 months no matter how much we used them. I still had to buy a new cartridge way too often.

    Color laser is the way to go... pay more for the printer, but I think your long term costs will be lower.

     

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  25.  
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    cjay, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 10:11am

    2 @#$%ing words

    "LAY ZER"

    They aren't $1 million anymore... Even with color, if you print in any qunatity, you will save money in the long haul. If you don't print in quantity, screw them by just buying a new printer every year with new cartridges as people mention above...

     

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  26.  
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    Mike Mixer, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 10:13am

    Re: Dot Matrix, bay-beeeee!

    The only problem is that the ribbons they sell these days are crap and if you call the company(epson)
    they ask if you've ever considered a new printer.
    Planned obsolecense or manufactured failure as I like to call it. They sell the refills but they suck so bad you give up and buy new.

     

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  27.  
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    Chris G, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 10:16am

    I would tell HP blatantly to shove it up their ass. You can't patent refilling ink cartridges. Once you purchase an ink cartridge it is your property and you can do with it as you wish. They have no case.

    Everyone keep refilling your ink cartridges.

     

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  28.  
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    TheEdge, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 12:00pm

    Saving money

    Solution.... Use B/W laser printer and add color by using those free crayons that your kids get at the restaurant.

     

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  29.  
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    anonymous coward, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 12:03pm

    Sounds like the printer mfgs need to take a lesson from the RIAA/MPAA and start suing customers! Injet refill piracy is destroying their whole industry and must be crushed using every possible means!

     

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  30.  
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    fanboy13, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 1:36pm

    "What the HELL are you guys printing so much for?"

    its much more easier, comfortable, and legible to type and print than writing things down. ;)

    we were told and we were looking forward that everything will be "paperless" before 2k yet, we are all afraid to have "intel inside" embedded on our right hands.


    "Typically, Epson and HP know what they are doing when it comes to ink technology compared to some Tawain ink maker that gets all their ink from the same drum for EVERY printer. When your pinter becomes clogged and print quality drops, don't blame Epson or HP when your using cheap 3rd party ink."


    i think that is no-brainer. imagine, they can make the inks that dry-up with little exposure from air.

    and why will we blame epson or hp? isn't it explicitly said that not using genuine inks will void the warranty? people who will take the risk of using 3rd-party are responsible and well knowledgeable enough that it will void the warranty under the the category "physical damage" in their warranty cards. anyways, we can always purchase brand-new printers for lesser cost than repair, and much less hassle than waiting for turn-around times plus the uncertainty if the printer could be fixed or not. you will also get a step-up model from your old printer at the cost of its genuine ink.

    if they'll do it the old way, everyone will happy to use their products.

     

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  31.  
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    fanboy13, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 2:01pm

    "I would tell HP blatantly to shove it up their ass. You can't patent refilling ink cartridges. Once you purchase an ink cartridge it is your property and you can do with it as you wish. They have no case."

    hp will fight back by sueing you of "shoving it up to their ass"... they also have a patent for it.

     

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  32.  
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    fanboy13, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 5:39pm

    "I applaud techDirt readers for being idealistic and inventive in trying to break down monopolistic practices, but let's not confuse idealism with reality. Reality is that most people don't use their printers enough to mind paying a high price to replace cartridges (I buy maybe 2 black, and 1 color every year or so), and the printer companies know that."

    i applaud you for figuring out that most people will not bother to refill their ink cartriges because of the fuss, but you might have forgotten that you are in techdirt where most denizens knows how to overclock a machine. and since most of the people here have problems with authorities, thats why we hate proprietary lock-ins/lock-outs... but hey, thats the reason why some people still have jobs.


    "Their business model is actually really smart, give away the part that actually does cost money, but will last a long time (the printer), and bleed you dry on the stuff that's cheap to make and has a rather short shelf-life (ink). Basically, you create a huge and guaranteed revenue stream that you couldn't get by doing it the other way around (in fact, that's the way they used to sell dot matrix printers, expensive printers, cheap ribbons, not as smart an idea)."

    yah... sounds like gaming console business.. give away the main product at loss but you have guaranteed income from game licenses. so, if you are smart enough, why not make friends with your enemies and provide licenses to their products for a small cost then market your inks better and start pricing them a bit lower from their current prices... since you just oem your inks from taiwan.

    the other possible reason why they are pricing the inks more than the product is to secure the cashflow from consumables to cover some production costs and possible warranty service of the product while it is still within the life expectancy of the whole product, if not just the head.

     

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  33.  
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    PersonX, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 6:02pm

    Re:

    Just convince Bush that there are WMD's (or oil) there and our troops will be on their way. Don't bother with proof or facts, as long as you send him a report that sounds feasable. You should have lots of experience in this, writting high school and college term papers.

     

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  34.  
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    PersonX, Jun 22nd, 2006 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re:

    sorry, above comment was in response to "we should take over china"

     

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    Michael, Jun 23rd, 2006 @ 6:16am

    Forget it

    The Chineese have been following this closely and have already begun to manufacture "refills" that are actually new. You can't stop them, they laugh at your attemps. Copyrights make them giggle.

     

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  36.  
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    Eileen, Jun 23rd, 2006 @ 8:24am

    "What the HELL are you guys printing so much for?"

    Indeed! I am unfortunately a lowly drudge in the "academic community", and as such I am forced to read hundreds of dry papers on subjects so esoteric even my advisor hasn't read them. I absolutely MUST, however, read them on good old-fashioned paper. Reading 8 hours a day on a computer screen while thinking critically about arguments might make my brain explode. Or my eyes stop working.

    Computer screens have also typically lead me to spend 50% of my "work time" reading techdirt and talking on AIM.

     

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  37.  
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    William, Jun 23rd, 2006 @ 5:44pm

    There is an alternative...

    Just go take a quick look at www.refillers.us...

     

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  38.  
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    Frank Scheuneman, Jun 28th, 2006 @ 9:36am

    printer cartridge

    I still belive in free enterprise, once a product is sold it does not belong to the company that sold it so they have no say in what happens to it. Keep filling the ink cartridges.

     

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  39.  
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    Ol' Brother Dave, Dec 24th, 2006 @ 2:53pm

    Get off the SOAPBOX HP...

    I edit a monthly newsletter for a motorcycle organization and recently when I went to buy ink replacements, I noticed that HP was offering a cartridge with "double " the amount of ink. When I asked the clerk how I would get a 'cartridge double the size in my printer', she laughed and explained,,,"Oh no,,, they use the same size cartridge,,,, they just double the amount of ink you get".
    Now, I'm no rocket scientist, but to me it saound like that in itself could be a lawsuit of 'mis-representation to the public' on behalf of HP. This actually say that they could have been offering twice the amount of ink in the very same cartridges all this time but instead sold the public half empty cartridges. Now they put in more ink and up the price even more?
    Oh, and that's is still not saying you are getting a "full" cartridge. Knowing HP and the others,,, they could offer this a while and add a little bit more and up the price again and the general public would probably fall for this price gouging again. This is really a hell-of-a pitch for retail sales but then again, it is one hell-of-a rip off for the general public who is supposed to trust these multi-billion dollar organizations? Go American Retail Manufacturering Rip Offs.

     

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  40.  
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    Nalla Flodur, Oct 19th, 2007 @ 10:31am

    RE Ink jet cartridge refilling.

    I think it is rediculous what these big multinational companies are getting away with. They bully the governments and courts so that the little guy trying to make a living cannot do it. Before you know it everything that we have to buy have to be from these big multinational companies. Laws were made to protect all people not just the big multinationals , but the governments don't see it that way because the little guy doesn't give them big money to run their election campaigns. Can you image if G M or Ford etc. told all the aftermarket companies that they cannot build aftermarket parts for their cars ,then stop production of parts for their cars so people will be force to but new cars. That is exactly what these multinational printer companies are doing . We the consumer must lobby governments to stop this practice and allow competition in this market. Maybe the price of printers will go up but at least we could use them for over a year without going broke by buying over inflated ink cartridge prices. Like all other products that we buy let competition flourish for the better of use the consumer who fill the pockets of these multinations. If this goes on much longer the Big Multinational will run the country if not the world. Then we will not have any democracy but dictatorship. Is this what we what?

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    nallaflodur, Oct 19th, 2007 @ 10:43am

    Re: Cheap Ink Without Refilling

    I just bought a lexmark printer from walmart, one of these cheap job. THE CARTRIDGE ARE NOT FILLED COMPLETELY AS THEY SAY RIGHT ON THE PACKAGE OF THE CARTRIDGE. FOR START USE ONLY. THEY JUST PUT ENOUGHT INK IN THESE CARTRIDGES SO THAT YOU CAN NOT RETURN IT. i KNOW MY CARTRIDGE ONLY LASTED ABOUT 35 PAGES. THE COST OF THE NEW CARTRIDGE WAS ABOUT $40.00 WITH TAXES THAT COMES TO $1.00 PER PAGE. GIVE ME A BREAK THE INK ISN'T MADE OF GOLD!!!

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Nalla Flodur, Oct 19th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Hmmm...

    yeah THat amasing. The companies like Shutterfly use the same ink in their equipment as our printers , but still can afford to pay labour etc and still cost less then what we could print them for. That shows you the big rip off the printer companies are. No ink cartridge should be more the $10.00 and that factory new. These cartridges are built in third world countries and probably cost only about one dollar to make. The rest is all profit -opps i meant greed?We the consumer let these companies get away with it , what would we do if our farmers did the same thing and marked up their products by about one thousand percent?

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Mr.C., Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 4:08pm

    HP's crapy ink

    I am so pissed with HP that I will not buy another of their products ever. I have a Deskjet 1120c. I've had a lot of problems refilling the carts for this printer my success being hit and miss. The last time I went to refill I found a site that gave some different instructions for refilling. First I had to suck all the extra ink out as the ink that HP uses has been formulated to coagulate when mixed with non HP ink and clog the printhead. (This is why I've had so many problems refilling the carts.) So I did as instructed and pulled out the excess ink. Folks, I gotta tell ya, the cart was supposed to be empty. I pulled out a good 10ml out of that thing. That's a hell of a lot of printing I could have done. Anywho, I filled it up with the ink from my refill kit and the black works great.
    So, through my own experience I have found that HP carts do indeed lie about being out of ink and their inks are formulated to cause clogging if refilled (without first pulling the excess ink out). If that's the way they want to play, fine. I just won't buy any more of their products. F them.
    My Epson gives me no trouble. I reset the chip and fill 'em up.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Haiki, Apr 22nd, 2010 @ 5:59am

    Franchise access to enjoying a free market

    The independent franchise suppliers of ink cartridges should know that their access to enjoying a free market enterprise, their product is in serious jeopardy of being denied access to all possible potential customers. As a user who prefers other suppliers of ink cartridges, it would seem that these companies in the recycled ink cartridge supply business are experiencing profit loses due to the anti-competitive strategies of ink suppliers like Hewlett Packard (HP). Because customers who use “other” ink cartridges in HP printers, they will find now that their ink cartridge is “not compatible“, and now forced to use a product, something they really do not want, having to purchase strictly HP ink cartridges. This I would think is just as serious, or more so, than my one problem.
    =
    HP is at it again! HP is again setting up a policy of shutting down, at a predetermined time, to limit a consumers use of their HP printer. For my HP OfficeJet 5600 All-In-Series, I purchased from Kroger Food store a refill on 2/23/2010. As indicated it replaces the HP 27 Cartridge. Cartridge City brand. It is now April 17, 2010, and my printer has shut down from further use. With my previous HP printer, after a predetermined period the HP printer displayed a message informing me that my ink was low, and then shut down my printer from further use. Because of HP greed, this same procedure is being used, but with a different message. Now, after using my cartridge for 54 days HP came up with a different message, “printer cartridge not compatible…“, ending further use of my printer. HP now avoids using the word ink. Although ink is low but copies still at quality level, this was no reason for low ink to stop the printer from working, after pressing O.K. on the control panel. However, my printer will stop. I am not a heavy print user, but this time I am keeping count, which should prove two things, my low print usage, and exactly when it stops (54 days?).

    =
    To prove my point, I just replaced my cartridge with the same exact store bought Cartridge City brand #27. Now the printer works again. If the cartridge #27 is the same, but is not compatible, why then does my printer now print? This is the same trick they pulled with the low ink message.
    =
    The HP OfficeJet 5600 All-In-Series user guide describes the extent of the limited warranty. Hewlett-Packard (HP) warrants to the end-user customer that the HP warranty does not cover (3) “any other problems, including those that arise as a result of….
    b. “…or supplies not provided or supported by HP”
    c. “..operation outside of the products specification”
    d. “….unauthorized modification or misuse.”
    (9) tells me HP products may contain remanufactured parts, components, or materials equivalent to new in performance.
    =
    Lets not refer or suggest this scam as an internal programmed expiration date, but call it as it is.
    =
    The preceding warranty gives HP the right to shut down my printer and infringe on my right to the free use and choice in my preference of using a remanufactured cartridge. To close down Cartridge City 100% satisfaction guarantee of their product, and to discourage and destroy competition. What gives HP the right, after 54 days of cartridge use, to then tell me my “printer cartridge not compatible…” It’s not a low ink issue? You see it’s not the cartridge, but it is, continues, and will always be,… the INK! You saw what the warranty does not cover. But shutting down my computer, because the use of outside sources of remanufactured cartridges, are ink supplies “..not provided or supported by HP.”
    =
    What is being said is, all other sources of recycled ink cartridges are not of HP standards, and will not allow their printers to operate, or give the consumer the free choice, to decide the ink quality choices in the use by a purchaser of an HP printer. In a 6/22/2006 Chicago Tribune article, “HP warns, Walgreens, Office Max on ink sales.” HP senior vice-president Pradeep Jotwani Stated, “They are using an ink that has specific chemicals or certain chemicals at certain levels that violate our formula for ink.” In other words, the world should run on only ink formulated on HP principals of what ink should be. That warning was to suppress, monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, and control the use of ink. To avoid the anti-trust issue, after a printer programmed predetermined time, you’ll receive a message, in order to shut down your printer, “printer cartridge not compatible…”
    =
    From the HP cartridge informational inserts, “HP recycling program. HP offers an increasing number of product return and recycling programs in many countries/regions, as well as partnering with some of the largest electronic recycling centers throughout the world. HP also conserves resources by refurbishing and reselling some of it’s most popular products. It also states, “HP limited warranty… warranty does not cover empty or refilled products, or products that have been misused or tampered with.”
    =
    O.K., I understand that. HP does not cover refilled products. So that I also understand, the warranty is on the HP ink cartridge, as noted by the warranty date. I can understand a cartridge being defective. But I don’t understand the refilled statement? If I purchased, or refilled an HP cartridge, I understand there is no warranty. But again why, after using my refilled remanufactured cartridge, under what specific technical conditions has HP determined after 54 days my printer cartridge not compatible?
    =
    Previously, I received a HP Newsgram. They were telling me how I should only use HP ink cartridges. “With a 98% reliability rate, you’ll enjoy a hassle-free, worry-free, experience you won’t get from refurbished or refilled ink cartridges.” In other words, suggesting to me, and others, refurbished or refilled cartridges being available, can be used on HP printers. This of course is not entirely true, and intended only to fool the unsuspecting, and naïve, from finding out the HP printers will become inoperative after a predetermined use, even when ink supply and copy quality is not the issue.
    =

     

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