MicroNet Solutions, Inc., a testing facility based in Albuquerque, NM, has released a report saying that it found clear evidence that Ninestar Corporation and its subsidiaries, the world’s largest supplier of integrated circuits to the third-party cartridge industry, are a source for chips on counterfeit toner cartridges. Findings from MicroNet’s testing, which was commissioned by HP, Inc., indicated that chips marketed by Ninestar and its subsidiaries can be used to misidentify third-party consumables as genuine HP LaserJet cartridges.
Actionable Intelligence President Charles Brewer says that MicroNet Solutions’ test results are surprising and consequential. “For almost a decade, HP has been warning third-party chipmakers that they need to be careful when reverse-engineering chips or they could misidentify third-party cartridges as genuine HP products. Chips that violate HP’s intellectual property (IP) put the business of third-party cartridge producers and their channel partners at risk.” He pointed out that last year over 500 listings were removed from Amazon in Europe and the United States after HP discovered third-party cartridges employing integrated circuits that violate its IP (see “Over 500 Toner Cartridge Listings Removed from Amazon Because of Infringing Chips”).
The 22-page MicroNet Solutions publication, Third Party Aftermarket and Counterfeit Product Analysis HP Printers/Aftermarket Chips, was released in October 2022. In it, the lab presents comparisons of chip samples taken from counterfeit, third-party, and OEM LaserJet cartridges. Its findings reveal that some chips sourced from Ninestar and its subsidiaries generate messages in certain HP LaserJet machines that lead consumers to believe they are using HP cartridges when they are using third-party supplies. In addition, MicroNet found that the Unismart line of chip-programming devices marketed by Ninestar and its subsidiaries can be used to program chips to generate messages that make end users think they are printing with an HP LaserJet cartridge when they are not.
Based on the key findings from the MicroNet report in combination with news and analysis sourced from our website, Actionable Intelligence has released an 18-page report, Testing Performed for HP Finds Ninestar and Subsidiaries Are Source for Chips on Counterfeit Supplies, detailing the test results from MicroNet Solutions.