HP Firmware Update Will Un-Block Use of Third-Party Ink Cartridges

Counterfeit HP Ink Cartridges

Along with apologizing for a recent firmware upgrade that blocked users from using third-party, non-HP ink cartridges in various HP color inkjet printers and All-in-Ones, HP Inc. stated that it will shortly issue a new firmware update that will enable users to use non-HP ink cartridges.

The firm notes that, in the printer business, it’s standard for vendors to authenticate supplies such as toner and ink cartridges. It notes that its most recent firmware update included a security feature that prevented some untested third-party cartridges that use cloned security chips from working, even if they had previously functioned with third-party cartridges.

On September 19th, HP confirmed that the software upgrade was designed to improve printer security by blocking use of non-HP cartridges: “HP is constantly improving security for its products and customers. Beginning in late 2015, HP implemented updates to the security chip in HP Officejet, Officejet Pro, and Officejet Pro X printers that maintains secure communications between the cartridge and the printer. The purpose of this update is to protect HP’s innovations and intellectual property.”

“These printers will continue to work with refilled or remanufactured cartridges with an Original HP security chip.  Other cartridges may not function.  In many cases this functionality was installed in the HP printer and in some cases it has been implemented as part of an update to the printer’s firmware.”

This week, HP, however, apologized for the firmware upgrade, stating: “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.”

As a remedy for users who were blocked from using third-party ink cartridges, HP is issuing an optional firmware update that will remove the  security feature. It expects the update to be ready within two weeks and will provide details here. In the meantime, customers with immediate issues can reach HP at a dedicated support center – print-hpi@hp.com.

However, HP notes that it “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.”

It also continues to emphasize that using HP-brand ink cartridges provides the best performance: “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.”

The firmware upgrade should likely put an end to two class-action lawsuits involving the matter that are being prepared.

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4 Responses

  1. Bernadette Lanuza says:

    Too Late HP! I will never buy another HP printer again. You lost my trust. I went and bought another printer from your competitor Epson because I was so disgusted by this change. I was getting ink refills from Costco at 1/3 the cost and they worked effectively until the update took effect. My perception of the whole thing was that HP was greedy and wanted people to continue to pay the inflated prices for their ink cartridges. This was not a money issue for me as it was an issue of principle for me. Good luck, because even though you are going to roll this back, I will still tell as many others as I can about my poor experience.

    • Terry Wirth says:

      Let us know how it works out for you when you begin using third-party ink cartridges in your Epson. Plus, you will still be paying more than if you had simply signed up for HP Instant Ink starting at $2.99 per month.

      • Silviu C. says:

        HP Instant Ink is only available in a bunch of countries and for a few, select models.

        • Terry Wirth says:

          You are correct that HP Instant Ink is only available is select countries. However, most printers sold in the last few years are eligible. Note that there are several models in each “series” on the following list:

          HP ENVY 4500 Series
          HP ENVY 5530 Series
          HP ENVY 5660 Series
          HP ENVY 7640 Series
          HP Officejet 4630 Series
          HP Officejet 5740 Series
          HP Officejet 8040 Series with Neat®
          HP Officejet Pro 6830 Series
          HP Officejet Pro 8610 Series
          HP Officejet Pro 8620 Series
          HP Officejet Pro 8630 Series

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