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Countering a counterfeit

Zafar Anjum | Oct. 25, 2011
Karine Tan, Supplies Program Manager, AP, Imaging & Printing Group, HP, shares with Zafar Anjum what HP has been doing to protect its products in Asia.

Karine Tan, Supplies Program Manager, AP, Imaging & Printing Group, HP, shares with Zafar Anjum what HP has been doing to protect its products in Asia.

1.      HP has to incur a lot of loss owing to counterfeit cartridges. Can you quantify this loss? How much globally and how much in Asia?

The diligence of the HP anti-counterfeiting programme in the Asia Pacific region has resulted in law enforcement agencies successfully confiscating more than 20 million units of counterfeit cartridges, packaging, and components in the last four years. 

On a global level, HP maintains an aggressive approach to anti-counterfeiting and has conducted nearly 5,000 investigations in 88 countries over the last four years. This activity has resulted in the seizure of over 30 million units worth of counterfeit printing products worldwide over this same period.

2.      Apart from harming HP's business, how does it harm consumers?

A counterfeit product is a product which has been made to look identical to or substantially indistinguishable from the genuine or original product, usually for the purpose of deceiving consumers.  Counterfeiting of printing supplies usually involves the illegal printing of HP-branded boxes, labels and security seals. Often refilled cartridges containing inferior inks and toners are used and inserted into this packaging that closely resembles genuine HP packaging.  The counterfeit cartridges are ultimately purchased by consumers who believe them to be genuine.

HP's commitment to the customers is the driving force behind the vigilance of our anti-counterfeit team, as we understand how the sale of counterfeit HP products negatively impacts our customer and the HP brand. With counterfeit HP print cartridges, customers purchase what they often assume to be a genuine HP product, but they instead receive a cartridge that provides them with inferior print quality at best and often times a cartridge that fails to perform at all. Potential damage to the printer might also occur. In addition, the yield of a counterfeit print cartridge is very low, resulting in a lower number of possible printouts. Through our anti-counterfeiting efforts, HP is determined to protect our customers and our brand.

3.      What steps has HP been taking in Asia to counter the counterfeits? Have the efforts been successful?

HP strives to protect all individuals that may be adversely impacted by counterfeiting, and works hard to protect its customers from becoming unknowing victims of this activity.

HP alerts and educates customers on how to identify counterfeit products through the following means:

  • Incorporating Anti-Counterfeit (ACF) alerts into new HP products.
    • For example, most new printers will alert customers when a cartridge that has been previously depleted is inserted into their printer - indicating that the cartridge is not an Original HP supplies product and may be counterfeit. If this happens, customers who believe they have purchased a new, genuine cartridge should be suspicious of that cartridge's authenticity and return it to the place of purchase.
  • HP also helps customers protect themselves from purchasing counterfeit supplies by encouraging them to:
    • Purchase products through established and reputable retail and commercial channels
    • Avoid purchasing products from auction sites or from vendors outside of the customer's immediate geography.
    • Avoid products that are advertised as "discontinued" or "second quality."
    • Avoid products that are advertised as "locally made" HP or a "second quality" HP - HP doesn't make such products.
    • Understand that if the price of a product is too good to be true, it probably is.


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