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“A very inconvenient truth”

December 3, 2019

Print-Rite responds to ETIRA comment.

Editor’s Note: In October the US research firm Actionable Intelligence published a free white paper “Premium Compatibles Poised to Fundamentally Change Third-Party Printer Supplies Market” this white paper charts the evolution of the premium compatible cartridge and its potential impact on the market.

ETIRA responded to the White Paper with their comments which you can read here.

Print-Rite Europe’s CEO Steve Weedon has recently responded to ETIRA and his response is published below:

“A very inconvenient truth”

As with global warming there are always at least two sides arguing completely opposite view points, no matter how much weighty evidence is made available to, in my view, prove beyond doubt that we have a major global warming problem. Fact or fiction, fake or real, politicians, reporters, scientists and Joe public try and win the votes to win the argument, and we get nowhere fast.

ETIRA publishes their response to a well – crafted and professional White paper titled “Premium Compatibles Poised To Fundamentally Change Third-Party Printer Supplies Market”, Published by Actionable Intelligence. The response, not surprisingly from ETIRA, is to ignore the facts that are a very inconvenient truth for the small group of remanufacturer members and instead focus on misguided generalism’s that all compatible cartridges are the same. SUC they shout “single use cartridges” are bad for the environment and against the EU directives of recycle for reuse. Their new anachronism is used as a “gotcha” a wide brush that paints any and all compatible manufacturers with the same fake message.

I am not speaking here on behalf of any other manufacturer than Print Rite Group, who I can assure you does not make SUC compatibles. Ours like the OEM are able to be remanufactured using standard parts and supplies.  Ours like the OEM are available to be remanufactured if collected and recycled for reuse.

So, ETIRA, SUC does not apply to our Patent Safe Compatible product range. Nor do claims concerning DecaBDE. We are compliant, always have been compliant and will remain compliant. We hold every accreditation required for European compliance, including REACH, WEEE and RoHS.

The real argument is not about quality, emissions, health, safety or economic sustainability since all these issues are no different to remanufacturing a virgin empty cartridge. I note here that no remanufacturer seems interested in non-virgin empties where higher costs are needed to make quality cartridges. At Print Rite we meet these issues head on and stand behind our Patent Safe Compatible products as well as our remanufactured products as we have done for now 39 years.

The issue is about the legitimacy of a Patent Safe Compatible cartridge. If we are smart enough to be able to figure out what is needed to make an alternative OEM cartridge product range, that does not infringe any OEM patent then that product range is legitimate and therefore should not be classified by remanufacturers or ETIRA in a general catchall diatribe because it suits them to do so, either intentionally or out of ignorance.

Whether an end user or reseller buys a remanufactured cartridge, or a Patent Safe compatible product comes down to the performance and the price End Users and Resellers do not buy OEM originals because they can be recycled. If the eco – friendly message of remanufacturing was making such a difference then it would be, after 30 years of trying, holding its market position and value add. Instead we see hundreds of remanufacturers across Europe and beyond leaving the industry, going bust or simply becoming a reseller buying finished products, compatible products and often infringing compatible products.

Resellers caught offering infringing products will get sued or taken down or both in the end.  Patent Safe Compatibles are not the same and have made their mark in the imaging supplies industry since 1984, they are legal and legitimate, as pointed out in the White paper, and they are cheaper than remanufactured products because no one manipulates the cost of the empty. Print Rite lead this innovation and vision and make no apology for it.  Print Rite customers want to be patent safe, buy high performance products, have year-round availability and want to be profitable, and that is what we at Print Rite Europe Limited deliver.

We support our global customers with Patent Safe Compatibles and remanufactured products. For ETIRA members, it is an inconvenient truth, I get it, but nonetheless, it is the truth and should not be miss-represented.

Steve Weedon
Print Rite Europe Limited


Editor: Having given all sides the opportunity to comment, this particular topic is now closed.

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One response to ““A very inconvenient truth””

  1. Delacamp says:

    Dear Steve, IP compliance is as much as must as regulatory compliance and compliance with local laws. As for Germany it is very easy to check compliance with for example WEEE ( Pelikan is among the very, very few suppliers of Single Use Cartridges (SUC) made in the Far East that are registered. Many others – especially very prominent players are missing. Compliance comes at a cost. Unfortunately, many manufactures and suppliers are cutting these costs by not caring about regulations. This creates an unfair price advantage over Remans who are all paying these compliance costs. The picture in my mind is that of a doped sprinter in a 100m race. She or he has an unfair competitive advantage over the others who stick to the rules.


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