What is a counterfeit print cartridge?

Counterfeiting in the printing supplies business means the manufacturing, refilling or re-manufacturing (‘reman’) of a print cartridge with the intention to market it in a way which suggests that it is an original brand name product when this is not the case. This usually involves putting a reman/refill into into a box that closely resembles genuine HP packaging, which can deceive customers into paying a higher price, believing the print cartridge to be a legitimate, original HP product.

How serious is counterfeiting?

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates the annual value of international trade in all counterfeit goods at $200 billion. The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) believe that counterfeiting drains an estimated EUR 500 billion per year from the global economy, equivalent to the loss of about 5-8% of trade in brand-name goods worldwide, including the illegal trade in fake print cartridges. It is estimated that around 200,000 jobs are lost in Europe alone due to counterfeiting activities.

Are counterfeit print cartridges and re-manufactured/refilled print cartridges the same thing?

No. Customers should not confuse counterfeiting with legitimate refilled/re manufactured products, which are sold or offered in such a way that does not confuse or potentially confuse customers into believing they are brand new genuine HP products. An example of a legitimate refilled product would be a product which clearly states “refill” or “re manufactured”, which does not misuse the HP logo to give the impression it has been made by HP, but uses a refiller company name; and generally does not misuse the design elements of an original HP print cartridge and its packaging.

What is fraud?

Fraud is an act of deceiving or misrepresenting by presenting an intentional perversion of the truth intended to induce a person to part with something of value, usually money. While fraud can occur without the presence of counterfeit products, counterfeiting itself is a form of fraud.

Why should I care?

Although counterfeit print cartridges may look like genuine HP print cartridges, they don’t provide you with the high print quality, proven reliability, and consistent yields you have come to expect from HP products.

The potential risks of using counterfeit print cartridges include poor quality print-outs, reduced page yields, print cartridges which fail prematurely or do not work at all, printer damage which may require repair, interruption of printing infrastructure and workflow, as well as potential invalidation of hardware warranties. Poor or inconsistent print quality is a primary indicator of non-original products.

How is HP protecting its customers?

In addition to providing our customers with information and tools to assist them in properly identifying genuine cartridges versus counterfeit cartridges, HP also investigates suspected counterfeit activities and then partners with law enforcement and customs officials around the world who then perform seizures and make arrests. The resulting penalties and sentencing of criminals are then administered through local criminal justice systems.

In the last four years, the Program has overseen the following in Europe, the Middle East and Africa:

  • Around 1,000 investigations
  • About 600 enforcement actions (raids and seizures by authorities)
  • Around 8 million seized finished counterfeits and components intended for illegal re-use
  • Over 3,000 Channel Partner Anti-counterfeit Audits
When should customers become suspicious that they may have bought counterfeit products?

HP has very high quality standards for all products, including printing supplies. Original HP printing supplies are always delivered new – never refilled or re-manufactured – and usually come in unopened, high quality packaging. Therefore, the following indicators might point to counterfeit products:

The print quality of a print cartridge is poor and/or inconsistent.
Printing supplies are delivered in packaging that appears to have been tampered with or the packaging is of poor quality.
Print cartridges are covered with toner dust or ink or they leak inside the printer.

  • The print cartridge fails – the failure rate of a counterfeit product is extremely high.
  • The yield of a print cartridge (number of possible printouts) is very low.
  • For more information, please read how you can protect yourself against counterfeit print cartridges or report your suspicions to HP.

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