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Epson faces class action over upgrades

by on28 October 2019

Thou shalt not brick your printers to shut out ink rivals

Printer maker Epson is in hot water over an upgrade which made it impossible to use rival printer ink cartridges in their machines.

A US class action claims Epson installed firmware updates that detected third-party ink in printers and simply disabled them. The suit claims the unofficial cartridges work perfectly well in machines that have not been updated.

Epson apparently never warned users that installing the firmware would brick their ability to use third-party cartridges.

The case applies to Epson WorkForce WF-3640 All-in-One Printer or an Epson XP-830 Small-in-One printer.

All this was especially surprising as while Epson's 2018 annual report, noted that third-party ink supplies could hit its profits but said it would counter this by emphasising the quality of Epson ink. No mention of bricking machines using third party cartridges.

The firmware issued error messages stating that the third-party cartridges were incompatible with the printers, after which the printers no longer worked.

Last modified on 28 October 2019
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