Are Compatible Ink Cartridges Illegal.doc

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					    Are Compatible Ink Cartridges Illegal?

                                      There are many ways to save money when using ink
                                      cartridges. The most cost effective of all is using
                                      compatible or re-manufactured printer cartridges but are
                                      they legal?

                                      Many people purchase what they believe to be a cheap
                                      computer printer not realising how expensive the ink
                                      cartridges can be to replace. This is one of the reasons
                                      you will almost always get free cartridges with your
                                      printer. The manufacturer doesn't want you to realise
                                      just how expensive the cartridges are until long after
                                      you've bought the printer. In fact some cartridges can
                                      cost much more than the printer itself.

If you are one of the many people who have heard of cheap 'compatible' and 're-
manufactured' ink cartridges but aren't sure whether they are illegally sold or not you are not
alone. The confusion lies in the common use of the two words. The terms 'compatible' and
're-manufactured' are sometimes interchanged when referring to ink cartridges although there
is a big difference between the two. In the wholesale industry compatible cartridges are
copies or fake goods, usually made in the far east. These printer cartridges are sold illegally
as they breach the OEM's copyright. Manufacturer's such as Epson and Lexmark have been
very aggressive at exercising their right to sue companies selling these illegal counterfeit
goods. It is worth noting though that printer cartridges are often described as 'compatible' by
online retailers when in fact the cartridges for sale are completely legal and 're-manufactured'.
This is because retailers need to use wording which is most familiar to consumers in order to
attract their attention. Most consumers will use the term 'compatible ink cartridge' although
're-manufactured' and even 'recycled' is also used.

Re-manufactured printer cartridges are basically used genuine cartridges which have been re-
filled with ink and sold on. The sale of these cheap ink cartridges is completely legal as no
copyright is breached in their production. There is no law against re-filling cartridges as long
as they are sold on with new product numbers or clearly named 're-manufactured'.

Cartridges that have been re-filled will usually have a re-manufacturing company's security
sticker and will appear visibly used. There may be scratches and scuffs on the shell,
especially if it has been re-manufactured more than once known as a non-virgin. Illegal
compatible ink cartridges will be brand new and may be made using a different colour plastic
to the original cartridge.

If you are unsure whether the cartridges you are buying online are made illegally or not ask
the retailer directly whether they are selling 're-manufactured' printer cartridges or
'compatibles'. Ask for customer testimonials and only buy from a company which offers a
money back guarantee. By purchasing legal re-manufactured goods you are saving both the
environment and your money.

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