Does this ink taste bad to you?
Suit calls HP printer cartridges defective
Published: February 22, 2005, 12:43 PM PST
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're 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 HP inkjet printer since February 2001. HP, which recently endured the high-profile ouster of former CEO Carly Fiorina, is the world's No. 1 computer printer maker.
An HP spokesman said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
HP 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 suit said.
The suit, which seeks class action status, asks for restitution, damages and other compensation.