Latest Industry News and Views

The past few months have been quite eventful for the printer ink cartridge and laser toner industry. Top news includes lawsuits over patent violations to rising prices for printer ink cartridges.
HP Multilaser Ink Cartridge Patent Infringement Lawsuit Resolved

Hewlett-Packard recently announced that they have come to an amicable resolution with Brazil-based Multilaser Industrial Ltd. The two companies had been involved in a lawsuit over alleged infringement of HP’s patents on its integrated print-head inkjet cartridges through Multilaser’s importation and sale of HP printer-compatible inkjet print cartridges in Brazil. The litigation was filed on April 12, 2011, at the Brazilian State Court of Sao Paulo.

According to the terms of the settlement, Multilaser acknowledged that HP has exclusive rights over the integrated print-head inkjet cartridge technology, which was infringed upon by the former. Multilaser has agreed to stop selling the cartridges in question, both in Brazil as well as in other countries where HP has similar patent rights. The Brazilian firm has also agreed to reimburse part of the litigation costs to HP. The settlement covers a number of inkjet print cartridge models, including the HP 56, the HP 57, the HP 60, the HP 74, the HP 75, the HP 92, and the HP 93.

During the press conference that followed, Stephen Nigro, senior vice president at HP, made it clear that Hewlett-Packard was committed to “monitor[ing] the marketplace for intellectual property infringements as part of their commitment to worldwide testing and enforcement efforts.”

Printer Cartridge Prices Climb Rapidly

Printer ink cartridge prices continue to rise steadily as former suppliers of budget ink cartridges increase their product prices. Top offenders include Epson, Kodak, and Lexmark. The prices have increased by as much as seven percent in the past two years.

photo source: cartridge 101
photo source: cartridge 101

 

Other companies, such as HP, seem to be following a more subtle campaign, by which old models are being replaced by newer versions that require different ink cartridges. The newer cartridges mostly cost more than the ones that were compatible with the older models.

Whereas most companied have refused to make a clear announcement to this effect, Kodak press officials have confirmed the reports, though they pointed out that Kodak inks still remains some of the most cost-effective in the industry.

In some other cases, such as Lexmark ink cartridges, the rising prices have been offset by evident innovation and the superior quality of the new products.

To conclude, the most stable prices tend to be for Canon and Dell ink cartridges, though the latter’s product range is one of the priciest on the market. Canon continues to be a good choice for the cost-conscious consumer.

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