Regeneration Times reports: Printing industry giant HP has recently been hit with a class action lawsuit, accusing it of being a monopoly by restricting users from using non-original ink cartridges through firmware updates and raising the price of original ink cartridges.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit claims that HP pushed firmware updates to all registered users in 2022 and 2023. The updates were automatically downloaded and installed, and users could not opt out. After the update, printers using non-original ink cartridges will not be able to print properly and an error message will pop up.
The plaintiffs said HP failed to notify them in advance that the firmware update would affect printer functionality, causing them to suffer financial losses. They were forced to buy more expensive original HP ink cartridges, and the non-original ink cartridges they purchased previously could not be used.

The plaintiff believes that HP monopolizes the ink cartridge market in disguise through firmware updates, thereby raising the price of ink cartridges without worrying about the impact of low prices from competitors. The plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial and at least $5 million in damages, as well as asking HP to remove features from firmware updates that restrict the use of non-original ink cartridges.

It is worth noting that HP has been adjusting the prices of some printing products in recent years. In December 2021, HP sent a letter to dealers announcing that it would increase the prices of some printing system hardware and consumables starting in January 2022. It can be found through the price tracking website Camelcamelcamel that the prices of multiple HP ink cartridges increased significantly at the end of 2022 and continued until the end of 2023.

Article Origin:rtmworld