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ETIRA looking at HP Inc firmware update

September 21, 2016

The European remanufacturers’ association is “assessing the impact” of the update.ETIRARlogosmall

ETIRA stated that it is currently “assessing the impact of last week’s HP Inc firmware update”, with Secretary General Vincent van Dijk commenting: “This is the second time this year that overnight firmware updates lock out cartridges which functioned perfectly well up to the day before, but stopped working after the update. With the help of our members we are now closely investigating the matter, to see how big the real damage for remanufactured cartridges is.

“But even if not all non-HP Inc cartridges were equally affected, the overall image of our industry is definitively affected by these problems. As a principle, ETIRA sees unrequested firmware updates locking out non-original products as yet another example of anti-remanufacturing practices of printer manufacturers, just like unfair patents, clever chips, poor design for reuse, closed-shop collection programmes, etcetera etcetera.”

The Recycler first reported on the firmware update last week, and reported further complaints from the industry and consumers, with the OEM’s EU helpdesk claiming that it was “working on a solution” last week. Static Control also discussed its chips working in the affected printers, stating that its chips “for use in HP’s 950/951, 934/935 and 970/971 family of cartridges continue to function correctly”.

The OEM told The Recycler at the start of this week: “HP is constantly improving security for its products and customers. Beginning in late 2015, HP implemented updates to the security chip in HP OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X printers that maintains secure communications between the cartridge and the printer.

“The purpose of this update is to protect HP’s innovations and intellectual property. These printers will continue to work with refilled or remanufactured cartridges with an Original HP security chip. Other cartridges may not function. In many cases this functionality was installed in the HP printer and in some cases it has been implemented as part of an update to the printer’s firmware.”

The issue received exposure internationally, including from the BBC, Ars Technica and Boing Boing. Many websites have surmised that a previous update in March was responsible for the issues faced during the firmware update, with The Guardian calling the March change a “ticking timebomb” in the form of “a delayed-action effect”, with affected users prevented “from getting the word out about the lockdown and discouraging others in a similar situation from updating their own printers”.

If you’ve experienced issues, please let us know at news@therecycler.com.

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