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Epson faces new complaint over firmware updates

May 22, 2020

The OEM is facing a new Class Action Complaint brought to the United States District Court Central District of California, alleging “improperly and illegally quash competition from third-party ink cartridge manufacturers” with its firmware updates.

The Complaint was brought by William Mondigo, Felix Rabinovich, Richard Famiglietti, Jesse Gordon, Gregory Szot, Martin Dignard, and Michael Kovach, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, alleging that Epson “In an effort to improperly and illegally quash competition from third-party ink cartridge manufacturers, Epson engaged, and continues to engage, in a systematic campaign of disabling Epson printers when non-Epson, replacement ink cartridges are installed.”

The legal documents go on to claim that “To carry out this scheme, Epson designed and delivered software and/or firmware Updates (defined below) to Epson printers that purposely disabled those printers with non-Epson printer cartridges installed. For many users, these software Updates effectively ruined their printers. For others, the Updates forced them to purchase Epson ink cartridges, which are significantly more expensive than third-party cartridges.”

The plaintiffs claim that Epson never informed the inkjet printer owners of the updates and “To the contrary, the Epson Software License informs consumers that the software and/or firmware Updates will improve the printers and fix known issues.”

Printers in question are a Epson WorkForce WF-3640 All-in-One printer, Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 All-in-One printer, Epson XP-830 All-in-One printer, Epson WF-4740, Epson XP 440 printer, Epson Workforce Pro WS3720 printer and a Epson Workforce 3720 printer.

The claim goes on to say: “Plaintiffs and other Epson printer owners did not authorize Epson to disable their printer to prevent them from using cheaper third-party alternatives to Epson’s OEM ink cartridges. Instead, Epson exceeded its authority when it disabled their printers.”

The plaintiffs are asking the Court to declare that Epson violated the CFAA and CDAFA and acted unlawfully, unfair and/or deceptive updating the firmware on the printers. Plaintiffs are requesting for just compensation and a jury trial.

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