HP Ink Cartridge Antitrust Lawsuit Investigation

Attorneys at Girard Gibbs are investigating reports that HP sabotaged the printers of consumers who use non-HP ink cartridges by causing those printers to fail if a non-HP printer ink cartridge was in use.

According to reports, thousands of HP printers that were using non-HP ink cartridges began displaying an error message on September 13, 2016, which read: “Cartridge Problem. The following ink cartridges appear to be missing or damaged. Replace the cartridges and resume printing.” Other reports indicate that these failures may have started as early as March 2016, when the software update allegedly responsible for disabling HP printers was distributed by HP.

Update: Girard Gibbs has filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against HP in federal court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit brings claims against HP for violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law and unjust enrichment. If you were affected by HP’s printer-disabling software update, please contact one of our consumer protection attorneys to learn more about how you can get involved.

Were You Harmed by HP’s Conduct?

If you received an error message on your printer in 2016 indicating that your printer cartridge is “damaged” or “missing,” , your printer may have been intentionally disabled by HP and we may be able to help. Please call toll-free (866) 981-4800 or fill out the form to the right to get a free attorney consultation.

Widespread HP Printer Failures Reported

Thousands of HP printers using non-HP ink cartridges failed on or around September 13, 2016. These failures were allegedly not the result of a malfunction but were allegedly caused by software code created by HP. The code caused an error message to be displayed stating that the ink cartridge was “damaged” or “missing” and the printer to be rendered inoperable if non-HP ink was being used. Users who tried to install older versions of HP’s printer firmware as a result of this failure report that HP deleted links to older firmware files from its site. Based on the investigation of a Dutch company, HP allegedly included a failure date in its printer firmware that triggered the error for all printers using non-HP cartridges starting on September 13, 2016.

The scandal led to HP issuing a statement on Dutch TV station NOS. HP stated that the printers were programmed to fail because HP wants to protect innovation and intellectual property, and because HP wants to improve “the safety of its products for customers.” HP further stated that its goal was to “protect and secure communications between cartridge and printer.”

HP Printer Models Affected by Pre-Programmed Failure Code

At least the following HP printers have been affected:

HP Officejet Pro 6830 HP Officejet Pro 8610
HP Officejet Pro 8615 HP Officejet Pro 8620
HP Officejet Pro 8625 HP Officejet Pro 8630
HP Officejet Pro 8640 HP Officejet Pro 8660
HP Officejet Pro x451dn HP Officejet Pro x451dw
HP Officejet Pro x476dn HP Officejet Pro x476dw
HP Officejet Pro x551dw HP Officejet Pro x576dw

HP has also reportedly confirmed that all OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X with HP numbers 934/935, 950/951 and 970/971 are affected.

Contact us for a free consultation

Girard Gibbs LLP represents consumers and small businesses in class action lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies, electronics manufacturers, airlines, utilities providers, and others.

Our antitrust attorneys have litigated antitrust cases against some of the largest companies in the world, including Panasonic, Toshiba, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Apple, and Google.

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