How Epson's patent trolling is killing the EU market for replacement ink

Originally published at:

Now, let’s not get them mixed up with HP.

But Epson isn’t targeting the alleged patent infringers here: the manufacturers who make compatible cartridges, who have deeper pockets and might actually defend themselves. Instead, it’s targeting the small businesses, people who sell these cartridges in the EU.

On the other hand, those small businesses are buying from those manufacturers who make compatible cartridges, so wouldn’t staying in business just be a matter of not reselling Epson cartridges? (I’d actually expect a lot of those “small businesses” – or at least those operating online – would be dubious operations with limited connections to the EU.)

Of course, the lack of recourse is certainly troubling and it would be shady indeed if Epson is citing inapplicable or expired patents in its reports.

1 Like

So what is a good quality home printer that doesn’t break the bank with toner costs?

almost any laser printer.


Switch from inkjet to laser; it’s more expensive in up front costs and toner, but toner carts last much longer than ink carts.

For inkjets, I think the only ones that haven’t gone full evil are Brother and possibly Canon.


Inkjet printers are for suckers.

Instead of railing against capitalists acting like capitalists, perhaps the thing to do when one of these stories surfaces is to remind everyone that unless they need to print glossy colour photos on a regular basis, they are much better off buying an affordable colour laser printer.

Coincidentally, my Epson printer, after giving me a ‘low ink’ warning, just told me it ran out of black ink. I replaced it with a nice, expensive authentic cartridge and it told me it didn’t have any ink and I needed to replace it. (To add insult to injury, I can hear ink sloshing around in the “empty” cartridge I took out.) So apparently it has issues even with “real” ink.
Never again will I buy an Epson printer. I really should have learned my lesson after the last one.

1 Like

Has anyone here used one of those “continuous inking” systems lately, or have those fallen out of fashion? I reckon it would be considerably more difficult (but certainly not impossible) to nail those with infringing on a patent, on account of the increased structural simplicity.

Canon. I use generic, Amazon purchased ink all the time. Never an issue.

Not full evil.

I’d have thought that part of the reason for a collapse in the ink market might be that people are just printing less.

Good thing that there is the Brexit coming soon …

No worry about the EU directive because it will be gone then … the UK business, not the directive.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.