HP fails to dodge lawsuit over scanners that run out of ink

HP sells all-in-one devices that won't work unless the printer compontent has non-empty cartridges in them. Which is to say, they sell scanners that run out of ink. The company is facing a lawsuit over the practice, and this week failed to get it tossed on technical details ABC News reports had nothing to do with the merits of the case.

The lawsuit charges that HP deliberately withholds this information from consumers to boost profits from the sale of expensive ink cartridges.

Color printers require four ink cartridges — one black and a set of three cartridges in cyan, magenta and yellow for producing colors. Some will also refuse to print if one of the color cartridges is low, even in black-and-white mode.

HP declined to comment on the issue, citing the pending litigation.

The arguments are well-rehearsed. Don't buy cheap Canon or HP printers or all-in-ones: they're a hostile labyrinth of DRM and "ink subscriptions" and such, they're designed to waste the ink on unnecessary maintenance cycles, and you never know when they're gonna pack you off to Staples to spend another hundred dollars on a few more milliliters of it.