Note that at present this is just an allegation. HP has apparently not
yet answered the complaint, and there has been, as yet, no
LOS ANGELES A Georgia woman has sued Hewlett-Packard, claiming the ink
cartridges for their printers are secretly programmed to expire on a
certain date, in some cases rendering them useless before they are
even installed in a printer.
The suit filed in Santa Clara Superior Court in northern California
last Thursday seeks to represent anyone in the United States who
purchased an H-P inkjet printer since Feb. 2001. H-P is the world's
No. 1 computer printer maker.
H-P spokesmen were not immediately available to comment.
H-P ink cartridges use a chip technology to sense when they are low on
ink and advise the user to make a change. But, the suit claims, those
chips also shut down the cartridges at a predetermined date regardless
of whether they are empty.
"The smart chip is dually engineered to prematurely register ink
depletion and to render a cartridge unusable through the use of a
built-in expiration date that is not revealed to the consumer," the
The suit, which seeks class-action status, asks for restitution,
damages and other compensation.
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