European Ink/Toner Remanufacturers Association May File ‘Anti-Competitive’ Complaints Against HP, Canon


The European Toner and Ink Remanufacturing Association (ETIRA) is said to be considering filing two complaints concerning alleged “anti-competitive behaviour” on the part of HP Inc. and Canon Inc., according to The Recycler.

ETIRA is said to have told The Recycler that it will file an anti-competitive complaint against HP Inc. for a recent HP security firmware update that blocked use of non-HP ink cartridges in various HP Officjet printers and All-in-Ones. ETIRA also told The Recycler that it will also file an anti-competitive complaint against Canon, doing so, ETIRA stated, because  Canon’s recently launched PIXMA TS5050 printer series’ scanning and “other functions” will only work if original Canon ink cartridges are used.

Vincent van Dijk, secretary general of ETIRA, commented: “We are seeing an increase in OEM unfair competition actions against our industry. The HP firmware update brought major damage to the overall image of non-HP cartridges. It was a serious shock to end-users and could push them away from alternative brand cartridges.

“It is like when you get in your car in the morning and it won’t start anymore because you filled it up at Esso instead of at Shell the night before! And although HP now finally apologised and promised an update, this solution came far too late. And what Canon is doing is just as serious: in addition to their unfair legal actions on patents against legitimate remanufacturers, they now offer inkjet printers that limit some of their functions to the use of original cartridges only.

“In the PIXMA TS5050, some scanning options only work when original Canon cartridges are installed. We consider this to be very strange, because these functions have nothing to do with the ink container. So in our view this is a violation of fair-competition rules. Tying your hardware product to the use of a particular brand of consumables was ruled illegal many decades ago!”

ETIRA’s van Dijk concluded: “We insist that barriers like these are removed, and remanufactured [cartridges] should get a free pass. Obstructing remanufactured cartridges goes against the trend of design for reuse and the circular economy. That is why we decided to report both these matters to the relevant EU (European Union) regulators.”

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