Earlier this month there was an online uproar as HP admitted it had adopted an official policy to block the use of third-party ink cartridges. The software of some of the company's printers had been equipped with a kill switch that automatically activated on September 13, 2016 to block the use of non-HP ink cartridges.
Taken aback by the backlash, HP issued a statement to clarify why it took this action. More importantly, the company promises firmware updates that will remove this security feature. Patches that will re-enable the use of third-party cartridges are expected towards mid-October.
HP engineers the best and most-secure printing systems in the world. We strive to always provide the highest-quality experiences for our customers and partners. As a new company, we are committed to transparency in all of our communications and when we fall short, we call ourselves out.
There is confusion in the market regarding a printer firmware update – here are the facts:
We updated a cartridge authentication procedure in select models of HP office inkjet printers to ensure the best consumer experience and protect them from counterfeit and third-party ink cartridges that do not contain an original HP security chip and that infringe on our IP.
HP printers and original HP ink products deliver the best quality, security and reliability. When ink cartridges are cloned or counterfeited, the customer is exposed to quality and potential security risks, compromising the printing experience.
As is standard in the printing business, we have a process for authenticating supplies. The most recent firmware update included a dynamic security feature that prevented some untested third-party cartridges that use cloned security chips from working, even if they had previously functioned.
We should have done a better job of communicating about the authentication procedure to customers, and we apologize. Although only a small number of customers have been affected, one customer who has a poor experience is one too many.
It is important to understand that all third party cartridges with original HP security chips continue to function properly.
As a remedy for the small number of affected customers, we will issue an optional firmware update that will remove the dynamic security feature. We expect the update to be ready within two weeks and will provide details here. In the meantime, customers with immediate care issues can reach us at a dedicated support center - firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to use security features to protect the quality of our customer experience, maintain the integrity of our printing systems, and protect our IP including authentication methods that may prevent some third-party supplies from working.
However, we commit to improving our communication so that customers understand our concerns about cloned and counterfeit supplies. Again, to our loyal customers who were affected, we apologize.