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 user 2010-05-03 at 11:18:39 am Views: 34
  • #23837
    Counterfeit printing cartridges could make up as much as 50% of the market in some countries in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, according to Bernhard Bette, HP supplies category manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa.Speaking during a presentation on HP’s printing supplies and technology in Istanbul, Turkey, yesterday, Bette explained that the average market share of toner and ink cartridge counterfeit goods is around 2%, but depends very much on the country, with EMEA being a high incidence area. “I wouldn’t be surprised if in individual countries in EMEA it was as high as 50%.”He explained that counterfeiting involves the manufacture, distribution and sale of illegal products that look identical or substantially indistinguishable from the original. HP began its anti-counterfeit programme in December 2006, and has to date followed up almost 1 600 leads on suspicious products all over the EMEA region.

    In total, these leads – provided by HP customers, partners and staff – have resulted in almost 900 investigations and around 600 enforcement actions, says the company, with around 6.5 million finished fake products and components intended for illegal re-use being seized. It adds that in 2009, seizures of counterfeit HP supplies in EMEA were more than two times the confiscated items in 2008.During the 2009 financial year and the first quarter of 2010, HP reports 2.5 million seized finished counterfeits and components across EMEA. Saudi Arabia ranked particularly high in the number of fake goods seized, at 712 142, with the United Arab Emirates seeing 630 756 products confiscated, and Turkey 108 712. In SA, 480 pieces were confiscated during this period.

    However, Bette noted these figures are simply a snapshot, showing the numbers of goods found during a certain period, and weren’t necessarily a reflection of the scale of the problem in individual countries.“The person who is most affected by counterfeiting is the customer, because they buy a product, perhaps at a lower price, expecting to get the quality of an original cartridge,” said Bette. “A counterfeiter looking to maximise profits is not going to put lots of effort into research and development, and delivering a good quality cartridge.”
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    He added that while counterfeit products also have a negative impact on the company, in terms of brand reputation, combating counterfeiting wasn’t about improving HP’s market share. “We have reduced counterfeiting in many countries without necessarily seeing an increase in market share. It’s not a market share enhancement programme, it’s a customer protection programme.”Partners which have signed up for the programme may undergo random inspections by HP to check for counterfeit goods. Bette stressed that HP works with authorities and police across EMEA, conducting investigations in collaboration with partners and customers. “This is not about the small counterfeiters around the corner; we’re talking about organised crime. We’re going after this, there’s no way around it.”

    HP advises customers to look out for official security labels that verify original HP products. According to the company, most print cartridges for HP inkjet cartridges carry an official security label, while all HP laser print cartridge boxes carry an HP security label featuring the words ‘original toner’.It also says to check the item comes in original packaging, that the print cartridge itself is unused with no damage or ink or toner leakage, and to buy cartridges through authorised sales channels.