Resellers are being warned about large scale counterfeiting in printing and imaging products that costs suppliers in Europe up to €291bn (£186bn) in lost revenue.
The Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, which includes Hewlett Packard (HP), Epson, Canon and Lexmark among others, has unveiled a programme to alert the channel and consumers to the practice.
HP is launching its legal and investigation initiative in the UK and Europe, and is notifying its channel partners through its monthly Supply Line newsletter.
Jamie Gryce, supplies sales manager for HP in the UK, told vnunet.com that resellers can be unwittingly involved in the practice, which can lead to fines and customer complaints.
"The channel is not necessarily that aware of how big an activity this counterfeiting is," he said. "Being involved in this is fraudulent and it is important for the channel to help protect itself."
HP has so far followed up 200 leads which led to 85 full investigations and over 30 enforcement actions in Europe.
Signs to look out for are partly opened packages, toner leaking inside the package, or pull-tabs that have been damaged or are not on inkjet cartridge packets, according to Gryce.
Resellers can report suspicious products to HP on a telephone hotline or by email to [email protected].
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