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
    Donald Duck, 29 Nov 2006 @ 7:59pm

    Vintage Champagne is cheaper!!!

    I have seen software where you can control the amount of ink that comes out of your printer when you print. One is called Ink-Saver and I seen another one on Broder-bund that is cheaper.

    I see that HP sued a company that just refill ink cartridges and buying a cartridge that isn't from the brand of the printer is more or less counterfeiting. So I guess for a little while you could use those services that might make this cheaper but some day they might be forced out of business fined and imprisoned because they either don't share the profits with the printer manufacturer or not enough and you have to act like my boy's in Lebanon and learn how to 'pinch' it some how. Like the do it your self kits that don't work believe me freaking MacGyver couldn‘t get that shit to work right.

    I bought one black ink cartridge like in August and what I do when I want to print something most of the time I use quick print which doesn't use that much ink and I click into the ONLY BLACK ink part. I haven't yet purchased the color ink that went out yet. Mainly because this is my second printer and I purchase this new one because it came with the ink and this was all like $50 dollars. The black ink it self was $30 plus dollars. I have always hated this ink ‘blackmail‘. Especially when it comes to photos when I do a few photos and I use the "Best" setting it really DRAINS my ink levels down they are sandbagging thugs. Obviously they have the cartridge size and the amount of ink in the sponge down to a science. It should have a certain size regulated by the government? Or we could regulate the ink but I doubt very much it has any thing to do with the ink itself I believe the price has to do with this fake idea that the chip that the printer reads on the cartridge it self is costly.

    So basically I got my printer down to one or two cartridges a year. That is a serious savings because if you add that up you could buy some new hardware or software. You know those muthafockers are making these in china some where and those people are making what 2 cents a DAY and they expect you to pay $60 bucks for their ink?

    I guess the underground "BLACK" market for ink cartridges is just going to have to be pretty big and much better before the companies realize that their monoploy just doesn't work out for every one. Of course Techdirt author these people play games with "their products" because they also have a stock market symbol which means they have to keep their major investors happy along with every thing else. I mean if Google stock is worth $500.00's each and HP or Epson is probably way below that level? I'm sure people think of way's to make the MOST PROFIT even if it is really is a shake-down to the consumer if that person purchases that brand. Obviously if a printer manufacturer would come out with a printer that works with ANY CARTRIDGE with out having a patent problem or just some cheaper ink they would be getting some business from me.

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