HP Inc. Printers Made Incompatible with Ink Cartridges from Other Brands After Software Update, to Proceed Litigation
A judge has determined that a class action lawsuit filed against HP alleging that the company pushed a software upgrade to its printers that rendered them incompatible with ink cartridges from other brands can proceed.
Mobile Emergency Housing Corp. et al. v. HP Inc.
Majority of the Allegations Could Proceed
A federal judge in California determined on October 15 that the majority of the claims in the HP Ink Class Action Lawsuit brought by printer owners against HP, Inc. could proceed, dismissing only three of the claims.
HP’s allegations were initially filed in December 2020. The plaintiffs say that HP sent firmware updates to HP printers without consent online, with the first update being made in November 2020.
The ruling filed on October 15 permitted the majority of the claims to proceed, with the exception of charges involving one section of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), trespass to chattels, and a claim based on a section of the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act (CCCDAFA).
December 2020 Class Action Lawsuit Against HP Inc. Recap
HP, Inc. updated its printer firmware to prevent consumers from using other ink and toner cartridges, forcing them to purchase expensive HP-branded supplies.
According to the HP Ink Class Action Lawsuit, the firmware updates function as malware by adding, deleting, or modifying the printers’ code, rendering competitors’ products unsuitable with HP printers.
In this situation, the firmware update, or at least the part that prohibits the use of third-party cartridges, serves no valid commercial purpose and surprises consumers who were never informed that the update would prevent them from buying less expensive printer supplies.
According to the HP Ink Class Action Lawsuit, those who had already installed competitors’ products prior to the firmware update were left with useless printers and cartridges as a result of HP’s deceptive behavior.
HP did not obtain approval from, explain to, or advise printer users prior to merely transmitting the update that caused damage to HP Color LaserJet printers and all-in-one devices, including the following:
- HP Color LaserJet Pro M254
- HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M280, and
- HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281
The HP Ink Class Action Lawsuit asserts that HP’s deceptive strategy for increasing printer supply sales was unjust to consumers, who were unable to have an informed decision between installing the firmware update and continuing to use less expensive supplies.
The plaintiffs, a New York business that provides emergency shelter for disaster victims and an Arizona tire shop, assert that they would not have acquired HP printers had they realized they would be prohibited from using ink and toner cartridges from other brands.
Editor’s Note on HP Ink Class Action Lawsuit:
This article is written to inform you of the class action lawsuit against HP Inc, initially filed in 2020, over the company’s deceptive strategy to prohibit its printer users from preventing using other brands’ ink and toner cartridges. A similar class action was also filed against HP over its Instant Ink plan.
Case Name & No.: Mobile Emergency Housing Corp. et al. v. HP Inc., Case No. 5:20-cv-09157
Jurisdiction: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
Allegations: HP Inc. unsolicited printer firmware update renders it from using ink cartridges from other brands
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