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  • Geebo 9:01 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: lexmark, , , printer ink   

    Supreme Court releases printer cartridges from patent prison 

    Supreme Court releases printer cartridges from patent prison

    As the old adage goes, computer printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids on earth, commanding anywhere from $13 to $75 an ounce. In too many cases it’s less expensive to buy a new printer than it is to buy a replacement cartridge for the printer you already have. Because of the price, an after-market of sorts sprung up of services that could refill your old cartridges at a fraction of the price of buying a new one. For years the printer companies battled with these services claiming refilling the cartridges violated their patents. Yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that argument was invalid.

    The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit brought about by printer manufacturer Lexmark who were suing a small company that bought used cartridges, refilled them and resold them at a much cheaper price. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. compared the practice of garages being able to repair and sell used cars and said these kinds of practices are vital to the economy.

    Now that printer makers may have some competition on their hands, how will this affect the prices of ink? Will it continue to be more expensive than milk and gasoline by volume or will they double down on continuing to mark up the prices to ridiculous amounts out of protest? Maybe we’ll even see a new influx of businesses who can now freely refill your cartridges without fear of legal action, which would be great news for consumers.

  • Geebo 10:28 am on September 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hp, ink cartridges, , printer ink   

    Printers start rejecting low budget ink alternatives 

    Printers start rejecting low budget alternatives

    We’ve all heard the joke when it comes to computer printers. It’s cheaper to buy a new printer than it is to buy the ink. Even though we all joke about it, but this is the printer companies business model. They sell the printers at a loss and make up the difference on the expensive ink. Even though you can buy a decent printer from places such as your local drug store for around $20 bucks, most people would not just throw out their printer when it runs out of ink.

    Printer ink is so expensive that there is a cottage industry of services that either teach you how to refill your own cartridges or will refill them for you for only a fraction of the cost of regular printer ink, much to the chagrin if printer companies. One printer company, possibly the most famous one, has allegedly decided to put a stop to that.

    Many users of Hewlett-Packard (HP) printers, have recently complained that an aftermarket brand of printer ink cartridges have stopped working in their printers. HP hasn’t commented on this specific issue but it’s believed that HP allegedly stopped the non-HP cartridges from working after a firmware upgrade.

    So what’s a consumer to do? You can either sell a kidney and buy your printer’s brand of ink, just kidding sort of, or you can wait for the aftermarket brands to circumvent the firmware upgrade. Neither situation is ideal, unfortunately, and could potentially make or break a business that’s dependent on printing. Unless you’re a design or printing company, maybe it’s time to start going paper free. With the expense of ink and the fact that reams of paper are environmentally unfriendly, maybe it’s time that we start kicking our printers to the curb.

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