HP printers block third-party ink

HP is again taking action against the use of third-party ink in its printers. A new firmware update detects and blocks third-party cartridges.

A user opened a few days ago Reddit made aware of this new step by Hewlett Packard. On the assholedesign subreddit, he posted an image of the error message his printer displays when installing non-manufacturer ink cartridges.

HP: Foreign goods are now blocked

According to the user, the printer no longer shows the message that the print quality is not guaranteed with third-party products, as has apparently been the case in the past. Instead, the print was canceled altogether. “This printer is only intended for the use of new or used cartridges that have a new or used chip from HP,” says the error message. According to HP, cartridges that come from another supplier can also have these chips.

When asked by the Reddit user, HP had confirmed that this was a new update for all HP printers. The company calls these measures Dynamic Security, which it has been using for a long time and which repeatedly caused displeasure among consumers. In addition to protecting intellectual property, these security measures are also intended to prevent customers from being exposed to a “quality and potential security risk that affects the printing experience”, as stated in the HP support area is called.

Users do not always have a choice when updating

On the support page, however, the manufacturer also points out that firmware updates are optional for most devices and can be rejected by the user. If you use some programs or services, such as Instant Ink or ePrint, you have to configure your printer so that it automatically implements updates.

How long the new update has been around is not entirely clear. Via Twitter a user had already pointed out a similar problem in November 2022, as the following tweet shows.

Class action lawsuits against HP in the past

Hewlett Packard’s rigorous anti-third-party policy has repeatedly caused displeasure among customers in recent years. They always responded with class action lawsuits.

One Lawsuit of 2020 describes the Dynamic Security updates “essentially as malware by adding, deleting or modifying the code of the printers to make competitor products incompatible with HP printers”. According to the complaint, customers are “taken by surprise and […] curtailed in their right to use cheaper materials for their printer”.

In another instance, HP rowed for one Lawsuit brought by the consumer protection organization Euroconsumers back and paid out of court compensation payments.

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