Epson Succeeds In Stopping Competitors From Making Compatible Ink Cartridges

from the remind-me-not-to-buy-another-Epson-printer dept

I currently have an Epson printer that's on its last legs. While the printer has served me fine for many years, Epson has just made it abundantly clear why I should never buy another printer from them. Last February, the company went after 24 vendors of Epson-compatible ink cartridges, claiming "patent" violations for putting ink into a cartridge that works on their printers. That's clearly not in the spirit of the patent system at all, but rather a blatant attempt to keep competitors out of the market by misusing patent laws. It's obviously lucrative to Epson to do so, since the artificial scarcity the printer companies have created has inflated the price of ink to ridiculous levels (filling a swimming pool with ink would cost nearly $6 billion -- with a b), making it perhaps the most expensive liquid around. So, it's unfortunate that Epson has apparently succeeded in intimidating many of the compatible ink cartridge makers into leaving the market. Obviously, Epson thinks it's in its own best interests to limit the market so they can charge such high prices (this is the same company that has also been accused of forcing you to replace cartridges even when they still have plenty of ink -- a charge the company denies). However, it also signals to consumers that Epson printers are going to be plenty expensive to maintain and that they may be better off looking elsewhere. Certainly, many of the other printer makers are just as bad, but that should be seen as an opportunity for someone to come along and charge a much more reasonable amount for ink, and then advertise the hell out of how much money they'll save everyone.

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  1. identicon
    Don, 11 Sep 2008 @ 9:56am

    No more Epson for me...

    I just spent over $60.00 on new Epson Ink Cartridges and my Epson Printer will not recognize them...

    After being on the Phone for almost an Hour doing ridiculous things the "Tech" told me to do, including digging the old Cartridges out of the trash and replacing the new ones.
    They told me I need to buy another Printer...

    I told them they where right, I'm going back to HP Printers and try to get the bad taste of Epson out of my Mouth...

    After researching I found out why my Printer doesn't accept the new Cartridges.
    Epson changed the code in the Cartridge Chip that makes them incompatible with older Printers thus making us think our Printers are broken and getting us to buy a new one.

    Epson is cutting off its Nose to spite its Face here.
    So long Epson! I just hope HP isn't doing the same thing...

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