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HP again blocks third-party printer ink

HP prevents more customers from using third-party ink for their printers. Numerous reports scattered about Reddit, Twitterand the HP community forum suggests that a recent printer firmware update blocks the use of non-HP ink as part of the company’s strict “dynamic security” policy, as first reported by Ars Technica.

First introduced in 2016, dynamic security is part of HP’s cartridge authentication process that the company says is “to protect the quality of our customer experience, maintain the integrity of our printing systems, and protect our intellectual property.” This means that the use of ink or toner cartridges that do not contain “new or remanufactured HP chips or electronic circuits” is banned in some printers, something HP has already done faced with criticism and several class action lawsuits over.

Despite this, it appears that HP is expanding its dynamic security policy to more devices that were once compatible with non-HP cartridges. A Reddit user, u/grhull, says they can no longer use third-party ink cartridges with their HP printer. Instead of displaying an evasive message stating that HP cannot guarantee the quality of their printing, you/grhhull say that their printer will not use third-party cartridges at all.

“The indicated cartridges have been blocked by the printer’s firmware because they contain a non-HP chip,” the message on the u/grhhull printer’s screen reads. “This printer is intended to work only with new or remanufactured cartridges containing a new or remanufactured HP chip.” According to u/grhhull, an HP customer support specialist told them this is part of a “recent update”.

In 2020, HP reached a $1.5 million settlement with clients in the US as part of a class action lawsuit alleging that the company’s firmware acted as “malware” by “adding, removing, or modifying code, decreasing the capabilities of HP printers, and destroying the stock cartridges of the making competitors incompatible with HP printers.” The company also paid out millions to customers influenced by dynamic security in the European Union And Australia after blocking users from installing more affordable third-party ink cartridges.

As a small concession to customer complaints, HP released an optional update in 2016 that removes dynamic security, but the change, confusingly, only applies to a range of specific models – some of which must be made by HP for December 1, 2016. While it is still unclear which HP printers have dynamic security installed, online reports indicate that the issue has spread to a number of models, including the OfficeJet Pro 6970, OfficeJet Pro 6968, OfficeJet 6950And OfficeJet 7740.

This follows with recent firmware updates released in December 2022 And January 2023 which indicate the inclusion of “dynamic security measures, which are used to block cartridges using a non-HP chip or modified or non-HP electronic circuits.” They also state that “periodic firmware updates maintain the effectiveness of the dynamic security measures and block cartridges that previously worked.” The edge contacted HP requesting more information, and we will update this article if we hear back.

While HP’s net print income is falling, this move seems like a desperate attempt to lock users into the ecosystem. My DeskJet 4100 is giving me enough trouble, and now it’s here most recent firmware update indicates that it may stop accepting third-party ink at any time. I am seriously considering switching to another printer brand if I don’t have the option to use third party inks in the future.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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