Question: Can I use any ink I want in my printer?

Short answer? Yes you can.

A lot of manufacturers try to bully you into buying official, name-brand ink from them at exorbitant prices by claiming that you will be voiding your warranty or have to pay more for maintenance if you use anything other than their ink. Well, it was recently brought to my attention that not only is this claim ridiculous, it’s also illegal.

Under the Warranty Improvement Act, United States Code Annotated, Title 15 Commerce and Trade, Chapter 50: Consumer Product Warranties 15, Section 2302:

(c) No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the tears of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the commission if:

  1. The warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
  2. The Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.

So basically, unless the manufacturer can claim (and prove) that using a third-party product, like printer ink or toner, is doing some kind of harm to the device, than anything else they say about it is forfeit. And guess what? No one has yet come forward with that kind of proof.

Not only does this mean you can use any ink or refill kit you want without fear of your warranty being voided, but the company can also not threaten to remove or discontinue support, break a lease, or basically do anything else about it, either:

The Supreme Court (IBM vs. The United States) held that IBM could not threaten customers with termination of their data processing equipment leases just because they did not use supplies manufactured by IBM. Such practice constituted a “tying agreement” and was found to be to violation of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Law.

So there you have it. Buy whatever ink you want, to your heart’s content (though remember, buy from your friendly neighborhood online store, not those other guys). This goes for computer parts, replacement parts, and just about anything you might need to buy. You learn something new every day!


3 comments on “Question: Can I use any ink I want in my printer?

  • my hp deskjet 2050 will not print if you use anything but hp products. It just reads “click here to buy ink cart from hp store”. I quit using because they are bullies and I wrote them asking how to remove this from my printer and got no response…..I will never purchase another HP anything.
    ]Do you know how to remove this from my new printer so I can use refilled cart? If there is a national lawsuit I want in on it. I am pleased to find they are doing this againt the law. the shisters.


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