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An owner of an HP All-in-One printer recently won a partial victory in a U.S. court. He has proven that the manufacturer partially blocked scanning and fax functionality when ink levels were low, without informing users.

An owner of an HP All-in-One printer in the U.S. recently won a partial victory at a regional judge in California in a lawsuit against the printer manufacturer. According to the plaintiff, HP intentionally blocks document scanning and faxing functionality through its internal software when an All-in-One printer is low on ink.

The complainant argues that in addition to HP’s intentional action, the company does not inform its end users about this. According to him, it has now been proven that printers can simply scan and fax when ink levels are low. Therefore, in his view, the printer manufacturer’s action is unlawful.

Judge partially agrees

The judge in California went along with these arguments. Moreover, it indicated that HP had a duty to disclose the restrictions. It further ruled that the defect occurred during the warranty period, which is important because the printers were sold with restrictions on the ink cartridges for non-print properties.

However, the judge did not indicate that the plaintiff should receive a refund under the so-called Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practices Act. However, the ruling does allow the plaintiff to further argue his case to still receive damages.

HP is not only tampering manufacturer

HP does not comment on the judge’s ruling. The printer manufacturer is not the only printer manufacturer facing this case. Manufacturer Canon was also previously sued over the same complaint. This suit was settled last year.

Also read: HP firmware update causes problems for users