HP steps up fight against fakers

HP Middle East is stepping up its efforts to combat counterfeiters, one of its senior executives said this week.

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By  Peter Branton Published  June 9, 2004

HP Middle East is stepping up its efforts to combat counterfeiters, one of its senior executives said this week. “We’ve launched a number of initiatives to educate the market about the differences between original and counterfeit,” said Amr Hassan, general manager of HP Middle East’s Imaging and Printing Group (IPG). Potential buyers who want to check the authenticity of the products they are purchasing can use a hotline, e-mail service, or check them out online. “At the end of the day the customer wants to get the original products they paid for,” Hassan said. HP has been working closely with authorities in different countries in the region, Hassan added, leading to a number of raids in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as well as in the United Arab Emirates on counterfeiters. At a higher level, HP has held meetings with other printer companies, including Canon and Epson, as part of its work with the Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe Middle East and Africa (ICCE). However, its not just fake products that HP is concerned about, with the company also working hard to convince people to always buy branded: “We’re working hard to educate the end user about the quality difference between buying refill and original, which is obviously huge,” Hassan said. “We’re trying to educate the customers that yes, refill will work, but it just won’t give the same quality as the original.” HP, like other printer manufacturers, has faced criticism for the high cost of its consumables, making them attractive products for counterfeiters to target, but this is a claim the company has always disputed, pointing out the high cost in research and development. “Just to produce one new ink cartridge can cost up to half a million dollars in research and development,” Herbert Kock, general manager of HP IPG International Sales Europe, said recently. “We want to get our money back on that one.”

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