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Second Lab Finds Ninestar and Subsidiaries Are Source for Chips Used on Counterfeit Toner Cartridges


Actionable Intelligence has learned that a second testing laboratory, Texplained, has released test results indicating that Ninestar Corporation and its subsidiaries are a source for chips used on counterfeit toner cartridges. The findings from Texplained, which operates in Valbonne, France, follow similar test results released in October 2022 by MicroNet Solutions, Inc., a lab based in Albuquerque, NM (see “MicroNet Solutions Finds Ninestar and Subsidiaries Are Source for Chips on Counterfeit HP Supplies”). Both the French and U.S. labs offer clear evidence that Ninestar and its subsidiaries market chips that misidentify third-party consumables as OEM cartridges.

The testing at both labs was commissioned by HP Inc. as part of the firm’s ongoing anti-counterfeiting and fraud efforts. Each lab tested chip samples taken from certain third-party and counterfeit toner cartridges marketed for use in LaserJet machines that misidentified the products as genuine HP LaserJet cartridges. Like MicroNet Solutions, Texplained found code running on certain chips that generated false messages. In addition, both labs 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.

In addition to comparing the overall experience of printing with various cartridge samples, Texplained removed the protective covering from the chips it sampled and examined the markings on the silicon etched with the integrated circuits. Through this so-called decapping process, Texplained concluded that all the violating chips had been manufactured by Ninestar Corporation and its subsidiaries. Micronet Solutions reached the same conclusion after examining decapped chips it tested.

Texplained’s findings were made public in a 61-slide presentation, Report: Counterfeits, Clones & Genuine Printer Cartridges. Released in November 2022, a PDF of the presentation is available for download at no cost by clicking here. Actionable Intelligence has released a 20-page report detailing Texplained’s test results. Click here for a free download.

MicroNet Solutions’ findings are also available in a PDF report entitled, Third Party Aftermarket and Counterfeit Product Analysis HP Printers/Aftermarket Chips, which was released in October 2022. Based on MicroNet Solutions findings, Actionable Intelligence has released an 18-page report. Click here for a free download.

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