From December 2011 all genuine HP ink and toner cartridges will carry a security label featuring a QR code. Users will be able to read the QR code using a smartphone, which will then allow access to the HP Mobile Authentication tool; this will then validate the label and generate a confirmation message to confirm whether the label is genuine. According to HP, the software will be able to identify whether the cartridge is a genuine HP product, and will generate different responses depending on the product's origin. For example, if the cartridge has been refilled, remanufactured or counterfeited, the software will identify it as 'not genuine'. The system will also recognise if a cartridge has been used previously, or even whether a given cartridge is suitable for use in the user’s machine.
Users who don't have the facility to scan QR codes will be able to enter an alphanumeric code, found next to the QR label, into the HP Mobile Authentication website www.hp.com/go/ok
The sale of counterfeit printer consumables is a global issue and was highlighted in our 2009 article, Fake Samsung Toners Nearly Make it to the UK. Counterfeit cartridges differ from compatibles in that they are deliberately intended to deceive the customer into believing that they're purchasing genuine original products. For example, the compatible cartridges sold on the Printware site are clearly packaged and marketed as non-HP products, whereas counterfeit cartridges are refilled or remanufactured goods sold in packaging designed to look as much as possible like the manufacturer's.
HP is confident that the new software will help protect customers from inferior and illegal products:
The new HP Mobile Authentication tool features an innovative technology that will better protect customers from fraudulent printing supplies. HP takes a proactive approach to alerting customers on how to identify counterfeit printing supplies. Through our anti-counterfeiting efforts, HP is determined to protect our customers and our brand,
said R Manikandan, Director – Inkjet and Web Solutions, Imaging and Printing Group, HP India Sales Pvt. Ltd.
HP Mobile Authentication has been available on inkjet cartridges for some time and is available for laser cartridges as of December 2011. To find out more about the new software and how it works, please visit HP's website here
by Anthony Morgan