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Armor gives its view on threat of clones

March 18, 2013

The French manufacturer has likened the clones issue to the recent horsemeat scandal in Europe, noting that “transparency is everything” and “what is on the box should definitely be in the box”. 

An original HP inkjet cartridge and a cloned version

An original HP inkjet cartridge and a cloned version

Armor noted in a press release that clones and the horsemeat issue are “the same scandal under a different name”, beginning by regaling the “true story” of a clone cartridge which “dreams of tricking people into believing it’s a remanufactured laser cartridge”, and that “by considering itself as something it isn’t” it places those who use it “in danger” in a “direct parallel to the horsemeat masquerading as beef”.

Noting that “alarm bells are going off for the products in our sector whose traceability is in doubt”, Armor added that much like the horsemeat developments, it is hard to “have imagined such an outrageous revelation” and as such “our confidence as consumers has been completely crushed”, with “traceability, transparency and reliability […] all severely tested” in both the meat processing industry and the printer consumables aftermarket.

The company stated in turn that “transparency is everything”, and if people are going to “choose to buy” clones and sell them as “private label products”, there is an increased risk to the brand and the company’s financial standings. It gives the example of unchecked cartridges, and the high likelihood of a customs check finding the illegal products, which would culminate in pressure on a business.

Armor also shared the wisdom that “what is on the box should definitely be in the box”, adding that again with the horsemeat scandal the “lasagnes of dubious origin” were an illustration of the “type of approach that should be adopted” – in other words, “trusting in a supplier whose remanufactured products are of designated origin”. Labelling a product correctly presents “absolutely no risk” if it is in “exact concordance” with the product inside.

The company also clarified its own definition of a clone cartridge, stated by its legal expert Eugen Harazim as cartridges “sold as remanufactured units when they are actually new-built units”, and added that the only two ways to sell OEM alternatives are through “compatible cartridges that respect patent rights” and remanufactured products, an “entirely legal” way of producing consumables that serve as alternatives to the OEM.

Armor concluded by noting that “the entire remanufacturing sector (manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers) is under threat from a proliferation of primarily Asian produced clone cartridges. In effect, the sector is a potential accessory to the deception of consumers”.

A French OEM association, the SFIB, recently produced a document about clones in both French and English, following on from ETIRA’s Guide to Clones, released last year.

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