Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What constitutes a counterfeit print cartridge?
A: Counterfeiting in the printing supplies business means the manufacturing, refilling or remanufacturing (‘reman’) of a print cartridge with the intention to market it in a way which suggests that it is an original brand name product when this is not the case. This usually involves putting a reman/refill into into a box that closely resembles genuine HP packaging, which can deceive customers into paying a higher price, believing the print cartridge to be a legitimate, original HP product.
Q: How serious is counterfeiting?
A: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates the annual value of international trade in all counterfeit goods at $200 billion. The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) believe that counterfeiting drains an estimated EUR 500 billion per year from the global economy, equivalent to the loss of about 5-8% of trade in brand-name goods worldwide, including the illegal trade in fake print cartridges. It is estimated that around 200,000 jobs are lost in Europe alone due to counterfeiting activities.
Q: What else is counterfeited besides ordinary sold goods (e.g. handbags, T-shirts) and where?
A: Counterfeiters will attempt to falsify any product that provides the opportunity to make money (and always at the expense of the consumer). In addition to handbags, DVDs, sunglasses, watches and other street corner merchandise, there is an active global market for counterfeit goods in personal care items, pharmaceuticals, personal electronics and automotive parts. These are just a few examples; any product which has a brand name attached to it has an inherent additional value, which counterfeiters attempt to take advantage of, in order to make even more profit. The reach of counterfeiters is global, which is why it’s important to be vigilant in all markets and to ensure people understand the risks and threats of counterfeit merchandise. The original version is always better.
Q: Are counterfeit print cartridges and remanufactured/refilled print cartridges the same thing?
A: No. Customers should not confuse counterfeiting with legitimate refilled/remanufactured products, which are sold or offered in such a way that does not confuse or potentially confuse customers into believing they are brand new genuine HP products. An example of a legitimate refilled product would be a product which clearly states “refill” or “remanufactured”, which does not misuse the HP logo to give the impression it has been made by HP, but uses a refiller company name; and generally does not misuse the design elements of an original HP print cartridge and its packaging.
Q: When should customers become suspicious that they may have bought counterfeit products?
A: HP has very high quality standards for all products, including printing supplies. Original HP printing supplies are always delivered new – never refilled or remanufactured – and usually come in unopened, high quality packaging. Therefore, the following indicators might point to counterfeit products:
- The print quality of a print cartridge is poor and/or inconsistent.
- Printing supplies are delivered in packaging that appears to have been tampered with or the packaging is of poor quality.
- Print cartridges are covered with toner dust or ink or they leak inside the printer.
- The print cartridge fails – the failure rate of a counterfeit product is extremely high.
- The yield of a print cartridge (number of possible printouts) is very low.
For more information, please read how you can protect yourself against counterfeit print cartridges or report your suspicions to HP.
Q: Which original HP products carry a security label?
A: All original monochrome HP LaserJet and HP Color LaserJet print cartridge boxes carry an HP security label in every country in the world, but not every inkjet print cartridge carries a security label. In fact, in the Europe, Middle East & Africa region, most original HP inkjet print cartridge boxes in Western Europe do not feature an HP security label, while in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, most HP inkjet boxes do have the label. For details of when to expect a label on HP inkjet print cartridge boxes sold in this region, please refer to the ‘Check your Purchases’ Info Sheet that is available for download.
Q: What are the risks or possible consequences of using a counterfeit print cartridge?
A: End-users may experience the following problems if they use counterfeit print cartridges in their HP printers:
- Counterfeit products frequently leak or do not work properly.
- Customers may experience sub-standard print quality and reduced page yields (number of pages printed) due to inferior components
- Counterfeit products are unlikely to save money in the long-term, as they are more likely to fail.
- Counterfeit products can ruin a printer and may invalidate its warranty.
- Counterfeit products can waste paper through poor print quality.
- Counterfeit products can contain harmful ingredients that result from practices damaging to the environment.
- Counterfeit products do not benefit from the HP’s recycling program called Planet Partners.
Q: How does the HP ACF Programme EMEA fight counterfeiting and fraudulent marketing of counterfeits?
A: HP is serious about protecting its trademarks and its brand through investigations that span borders to disrupt the international trade of illicit products.
The HP ACF Programme raises awareness among HP partners, customers and local authorities about when to become suspicious and how to report leads. Investigative consultants examine all leads, in order to identify significant dealers and manufacturers of counterfeits and then assist local authorities during follow-up enforcement action. In addition, the programme ensures the stocks of HP’s Distributor and Reseller partners are free of counterfeits, by conducting random inspections (Channel Partner Anti-Counterfeit Audits).
HP is also an active member of a number of not-for-profit international brand owners’ associations worldwide, supporting governments and law enforcement authorities.
Q: Why is HP so committed in its ACF efforts?
Since print cartridges play a pivotal role in the smooth operation of HP printing systems, HP makes significant investments in imaging and printing research and development to engineer each HP print cartridge precisely, as well as a consistent toner and ink formulation to work in harmony with HP LaserJet and inkjet printers.
For example, up to 100 chemists work on HP ink formulations, and it can take many years to develop a single formulation to provide HP customers with the superior quality and reliability they expect from HP.
Q: What made HP launch Toner Cartridge Authentication Software?
A: HP printing cartridges are susceptible to counterfeiting and the Toner Cartridge Authentication software (which is free) indicates whether the installed cartridge is an Original HP LaserJet toner cartridge or an alternative supply, such as a counterfeit cartridge. If the cartridge is not a genuine HP cartridge, users are presented with additional information to address potential counterfeiting. If a user receives a notification when they believe they have purchased an Original HP cartridge they will be directed to HP’s Anti-counterfeit website (hp.com/go/anticounterfeit) to report the potential counterfeit cartridge.