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Authorities urge Epson and Lexmark to inform users about firmware

January 23, 2023

Following their investigation, the Italian Competition and Market Authority (ICMA) has asked Epson and Lexmark to clarify the limits regarding the use of non-original cartridges for printers.

The ICMA “has invited” Epson and Lexmark with a moral suasion to inform consumers if their printers work with non-original ink or toner cartridges or if they require, through digital tools (software), the exclusive use of original cartridges. The request also concerns the updates that are released later, thus integrating the essential features to be able “to make an economic, informed and conscious choice.”

According to the ICMA, communications with the public did not explain the fact that, in some Lexmark brand printers sold in Italy, the installed firmware contains “technical protection measures”, which block the use of “non-original refills” and only allow the use of new original cartridges and original refilled or remanufactured by third parties.

The ICMA added that “similarly, in some Epson-branded printers sold in Italy, the installed firmware contains instructions whereby a dialogue process is established with the cartridge chips and the printers only work if they recognise the cartridges.”

The ICMA said that the lack of this essential information can mislead consumers into believing, at the time of purchase, that they can use non-original cartridges, or, at the time of use, that the printer blockage could result from shortages or defects of non-genuine cartridges and not from the installed software.

In response to the ICMA’s invitation to remove profiles of possible impropriety, Epson and Lexmark have supplemented the communications addressed to potential purchasers, clarifying this specific feature both at the time of purchase and at the time of the firmware update proposal, the statement said.

In 2020, the ICMA sanctioned HP because on the sales packages of many inkjet and laser printers it did not adequately highlight the limitations on the use of non-original ink or toner cartridges.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Consumers Epson Firmware Italy Lexmark The Competition and Market Authority Third-Party Supplies

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