North American Rechargers Point the Finger

Rechargers in North America, the largest print consumables market in the world, are angry, and they are ready to point the finger of blame.

According to an ongoing phone poll being conducted among the aftermarket industry by Recycling Times Media, there are three key factors to blame for their anger over the uncertain future for the industry. The concern is not over diminished markets largely caused by the downturn in the economy and the move by consumers away from hardcopy to mobile devices.

The poll reveals rechargers are blaming the influx of cheaper cloned products into North America which has captured much of the locally remanufactured market. General exclusion orders have not significantly slowed down the products being shipped from China. They often violate the intellectual property of the OEMs and are made from inferior components. Neither are cloned cartridges suitable for remanufacture meaning they have a negative environmental impact.

The second reason rechargers fear the future for their businesses, is the continuous onslaught of litigation by the printer OEMs who are looking to secure consumables markets by fighting to protect their intellectual property. The recent Canon suit against 18  cartridge remanufacturers and distributors is the latest of many to impact the aftermarket. “We are afraid to sneeze, in fear we will be slapped with a US$3 million suit from an OEM” one respondent told Recycling Times.

Thirdly, on the back of the OEM lawsuits concerns, is the reaction of rechargers to those who supply the component parts to them.  Lawsuits are being targeted by the OEMs against the rechargers, and not the actual manufacturers of the components. “We use the components supplied to us but when the OEM sues us, the supplier of the parts will not indemnify us”, Recycling Times was told.

These issues are at the core of the aftermarket RT Imaging Summit which is being held at the new South Point Casino in Las Vegas on May 29 and 30.  More information is available from the dropdown CONFERENCE menu at

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