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
    Galen, 29 Nov 2006 @ 7:47pm

    Printer costs

    Just a suggestion, but shop for cartridges first and the printer second.

    I agree with Howbad regarding cannon printers. None of the printers are perfect, I use an old cannon multifunction that uses a tricolor and a black cartridge and prints quite respectably. The print head is also easily removable with a lever and a quick soak in warm vinegar water will bust any clogged nozels (usually from lack of use).

    We print alot of color on photo paper (Ilford Gloss 8.5x11 form Sams $25.00 / 100 sheets). The paper has a great finish and the prints look very good. OK, they are not waterproof, but you can print about 30 full color 8.5 images with a pair af cartridges.

    Costs: Color cartridges $1.30 Black cartridges $.95 from several web stores (watch the shipping)

    Thats under 10 cents a page for full color 8.5X11 images at high quality setting and .25 cents for good photo paper. You cant beat that at any printing kiosk that I know of and you can do it at home where you are comfortable messing around with the images to get them the way you want them.

    Normal text and mixed media printing will cost under 3 cents per page for ink.

    I buy about $30 bucks worth at a time and they last a couple of years, and I push the print button any time I feel like it with out thinking twice. Ok, you do get a little giddy knowing that it is cheap.


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