"There’s clearly an issue here and it appears to be growing"

Fake products costing IT trade ‘significantly’

Sales of counterfeit printer cartridges and labelling cassettes are harming the tech trade – and the problem is only getting worse, vendors and distributors have told PCR.

Printer specialist Brother urged resellers to source stock from authorised distributors late last year, following alegal case with Aster Technology, which was manufacturing and supplying YT-cassettes that infringed Brother’s intellectual property rights. The products were intended for use in Brother’s P-Touch label machines.

In addition, distributor Tech Data UK recently encouraged resellers to use HP’s QR identification system in order to avoid being duped into buying fake HP laser cartridges.

Mike Kelly (pictured), head of labelling for Brother UK, told PCR: “Imitation cassettes have become a more pressing issue in the last 12 months and we would estimate that current monthly sales of imitation cassettes are equivalent of up to three per cent of our total sales, which is costing the IT trade significantly."

“Brother has successfully taken legal action in both Europe and the USA to protect intellectual property rights and we will continue to pursue this course of action to protect both resellers and end users from imitation products.”

Mark Porter, print and supplies manager at Tech Data UK, added: “Vendors have identified that there seems to be shrinkage in terms of their through-put on supplies, so there’s clearly an issue here and it appears to be growing. The problem has been increasing for a number of years."

“It’s important that both resellers and their customers are alert to the many fake or counterfeit cartridges that are now being openly offered on the market. It’s important to know it is a genuine HP cartridge – and not to discover it is a fake after it is too late.”

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