HP raises red flag over fake printing consumables

HP has raised a red flag over Kenya’s counterfeit printing consumables saying it has eliminated over 15,000 of illegal ready for sale laser and inkjet cartridges, boxes and security labels across Africa.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, HP said Kenya is among the countries where the manufacture and distribution of fake printing supplies and other illicit merchandise is widespread.

HP urged the country to increase protection of intellectual rights — even as the World Intellectual Day approaches.

“World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, which takes place on April 26, is a reminder of the need to heighten business and government cooperation in Kenya to protect patents, copyrights and trademarks as well as intensify efforts to stop counterfeiters,” said HP.

The World International Property Day aims at ensuring greater awareness and defense of intellectual property including protection of music lyrics, a scientist patents or, in the case of HP, proprietary printer cartridge technology.

“This can make Kenya an even better place to do business while also protecting society from the criminal elements that appropriate the IP of others to defraud innocent consumers,” said Tina Rose, Anti Counterfeit Program Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Printing and Personal Systems Group (PPS).

HP is one of the world’s biggest owners of intellectual property, with a portfolio of over 37,000 patents, a majority held by PPS, which manufactures printers and scanners in addition to ink and toners.

HP said it has been educating its customers and partners to be vigilant against fake printing supplies.

HP has initially conducted over 1,000 investigations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) over the last four years, resulting in over 600 enforcement actions — raids and seizures by authorities — and nearly 8 million units of counterfeit products and components seized.

According to Kenya Association of Manu­facturers (KAM) estimates, the manufacturing sector in Ke­nya loses KSh50 bil­lion on counterfeits. Countries in East Africa lose over KSh180 billion to counterfeit trade.

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