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Epson in class action lawsuit for firmware updates

October 22, 2019

The class action lawsuit was filed against Epson alleging that the complainants suffered harm as a result of Epson’s firmware updates that locked out third party supplies.

The class action complaint was filed on 18 October in the United States District Court, Southern District Of California against Epson America Inc., on behalf of William Mondigo and Richard Famiglietti, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, alleging that Epson’s firmware updates are anti-competitive, unfair, fraudulent and oppressive and illegal conduct, stopping the use of third-party consumables.

The papers seen by The Recycler state that “this is a class action brought to seek redress on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased an Epson Printer and suffered harm as result of Epson’s anti-competitive, unfair, fraudulent and oppressive and illegal conduct.”

Specifically, the complaint alleges that “Epson engaged, and continues to engage, in a systematic campaign of disabling Epson printers when the owner attempts to use non-Epson ink cartridges in an effort to improperly and illegally quash competition from third-party manufacturers.”

The papers go on about how Epson, in its 2018 report, acknowledges the third-party consumables could “result in its losing market share”, however never “discuss disabling printers to increase market share.”

The complaint alleges “Epson never informed Epson printer owners that the Updates would prevent their printers from working if they had third-party ink cartridges installed” and therefore accuses Epson of violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S. C. § 1030, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (“CUTA”), the California Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200, et seq., the California False Advertising Law (“FAL”), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17500, et seq. and California Computer Penal Code § 502 (Unauthorised access to computers, computer systems and computer data).

The plaintiffs demand a jury trial.

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