A couple of days ago I reported about the news of sudden issues with third-party ink cartridges in combination with HP printers. Initially, it was reported that a faulty firmware update was to blame for this, but now it appears that this is indeed HP's official policy.
Thousands of users are complaining about third-party ink cartridges no longer working with HP printers. Ink is more expensive than gold so it's no surprise people flock to cheaper options, even though HP gives lots of warnings against using third-party cartridges.
It seems it was HP's plan all along to ban the use of third-party cartridges, it wasn't a new firmware update but some sort of pre-programmed failure date that caused third-party cartridges to stop working on September 13, 2016. Users trying to print pages are now greeted by the following message:
"The following ink cartridges appear to be missing or damaged.
Replace the ink cartridges to resume printing."
Some of the affected printers haven't received updates in months so Slashgear estimates firmware with the pre-programmed failure date for third-party ink cartridges has been around since at least March 2016. Originally, HP refused to talk to the press but now the company admitted it blocked third-party cartridges to "protect innovation and intellectual property".
HP confirmed to Dutch media that it does, in fact, push software updates that would make HP printers reject non-HP cartridges, to “protect innovation and intellectual property”. What it didn’t really confirm or explain is why it had a pre-programmed date for printers to suddenly stop working, months after the software was already installed.
HP printer users wishing to stick with third-party ink will need to ensure they buy refilled official HP cartridges with an intact original security chip. Everything else no longer works. Whether this is a legal move remains to be seen, no doubt consumer groups will put up a fight against HP's latest shenanigans.