Judge Files Complaint Against HP
The Executive Director of the International Imaging Technology Council filed a complaint with the Global Electronics Council (GEC) challenging HP’s ongoing firmware lockouts and misuse of the GEC’s EPEAT ecolabel on over 100 printer models featuring Dynamic Security and HP+.
According to Tricia Judge, manufacturers of EPEAT-registered devices are prohibited from designing their products to prevent the use of remanufactured cartridges. This is despite HP claiming its own product documentation, Dynamic Security and HP+ printers are designed to do precisely that.
The complaint cites HP’s websites and documentation making statements such as “[w]orks only with original HP ink,” “requires … exclusive use of Original HP ink cartridges for the life of the printer,” and “[c]artridges using a non-HP chip may not function or may cease to function.”
The complaint asserts that these and similar statements regarding HP’s Dynamic Security and HP+ printers are in direct conflict with EPEAT Criterion 220.127.116.11. 86 printer models with such contradictory statements are specifically identified, but the complaint asks the GEC to review all HP EPEAT registrations for the presence of Dynamic Security and HP+ printers.
“HP is insulting EPEAT and the Global Electronics Council by claiming EPEAT certification for Dynamic Security and HP+ printers that, according to HP’s own product documentation, prevent the use of remanufactured cartridges,” said Int’l ITC Executive Director Tricia Judge.
“Dynamic Security is HP’s name for printers that receive killer firmware updates capable of disabling perfectly functional third-party cartridges overnight, thereby forcing customers to buy HP’s overpriced cartridges instead. By claiming EPEAT registration on Dynamic Security printers, HP is simultaneously eliminating consumer choice and greenwashing its products.”
The complaint explains that “ecolabels exist to help consumers and institutional purchasers quickly and easily identify those products that meet specific environmental performance criteria and are therefore deemed ‘environmentally preferable.’ That purpose is only served when the managing body ensures strict compliance with its requirements and holds accountable manufacturers that fail to comply.” The Global Electrics Council oversees EPEAT, which it calls its “flagship program.”
“HP has thus far evaded prior complaints by, it is believed, pointing to its ‘documentation that the cartridge or container is not designed to prevent its reuse and recycling,’” the complaint reads. “As this complaint has made clear, the statements in that documentation are false. HP must not be permitted to retain its EPEAT certifications based on such false statements, the integrity of the GEC and the EPEAT ecolabel depend on it.”
“For these reasons, Int’l ITC asks that the GEC repeal all EPEAT certifications for the devices identified in this complaint, take appropriate enforcement action against HP for the false designation of its products as EPEAT registered, and conduct a thorough review of the EPEAT certifications for all other HP products.”
“HP is again making a mockery of EPEAT certification,” Judge said. “It blatantly asserts that only new HP cartridges will work in printers it proudly claims are EPEAT certified. It is insulting to the EPEAT process and consumers alike to suggest that products designed to prevent the use of remanufactured cartridges are helping the environment.”
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