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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Lantern Bearer, 29 Nov 2006 @ 5:06pm

    Ink Jet Printers

    I had a project that came to me in 2000. I had one color inkjet and a workhorse laser/toner corporate for up to ledger size output. I needed a ledger size color machine. I found it in an hp1220C. The carts were big and long lasting and the output was flawless. It however suffered frm very weak parts in the ink delivery sub assembly. I replaced it once and when it broke again, I tossed it. I also had an hp2000C Professional that had a notoriously bad board. I replaced the the machine once and had the board repaired by a very capable national company the second time. When the paper delivery subsystem went south, I tossed it. I have since become a reseller and I am able to get machines out of lease very inexpensively. I get supplies in bulk and I know what the rip is for OEM. I will never own an Epson product again. hp is on my emergency list. Samsung is my rising star.

    When you buy a new printer, find out who the real manufacturer of the base engine is. Samsung is now producing the real workhorses that the tagging manufacturers are charging a premium for.

    Look for comparable OEM carts that are cross indexed for other machines. The big names charge a premium for those carts while the cross indexed models are much cheaper. Same cart.

    Warranty? I have had only one machine ever go bad in a warranty period. Warranties be damned.


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.