Saturday, November 24, 2007


MAGIC GARDEN MANDALAMagic Garden Mandala - (Garden Mandala Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2007

Within the past couple of days I learned that the U.S. International Trade Commission has issued a cease and desist order against the manufacturers and importers of generic ink cartridges for Epson desktop inkjet printers, ruling it as an infringement of Epson patents. You can read more about that ruling here

This ruling will have a direct impact on my capacity to print my greeting cards at a reasonable cost. Im glad that I have all my orders printed. At this point I don't have an answer for what I will do going forward. On a philosophical level I believe that business has a right to protect itself. I feel the same about copyright issues for myself. On the other hand, there is something just wrong when replacing ink cartridges is as costly as purchasing some desktop printers. Certainly, not all consumers who print photographs or digital images at home need high quality archival inks; currently we do not have a choice, and that is what I believe needs to be offered. Certainly I will consider another brand of printer going forward. Not long ago a class action suit was filed against Epson because their printers registered being out of ink before the cartridges were actually empty, and Epson lost that suit.

I was angry when I first heard about this ruling, and then I realized that holding onto this anger would only make finding other solutions for this dilemma harder to manifest. This little snafu may very well help me turn my attention to those long term business goals that do not involve printing.

Please share your thoughts with me on this subject.


artandtea said...

Hi Sue,
It sounds like Epson is trying to protect its interests, yes, but in doing so, they will probably lose customers because they are placing them in a position of no choice. Disempowering customers by taking away their choices is not a wise business move, in my opinion. Based on their past and current business practices, it sounds like they don't have a very high opinion of their customers to begin with.
I'm sorry to hear that this decision will affect your business. It's important to be able to offer your artwork at a reasonable cost to your customers while also giving you the opportunity to make a decent living from creating your artwork.
You're absolutely right about not holding onto your anger. Holding onto anger ultimately just hurts the person holding onto it. However, you can use it as starting fuel for your journey in another direction. Positive thoughts to you as you begin that journey!

Anonymous said...

I think the cost of ink for printers is ridiculous. And I have this idea that the ink sales are what keep Epson afloat. I do love my little epson printer though. And it is a dilema.

Have you considered going the route of Cafe Press, or Zazzle? They do printing, the profit margin is of course smaller, but the aggravation factor is nil. I don't know about you, but I found printing cards to be something of a hassle. Whenever I was in a hurry, or low on ink, my printer would take that time to spit at or smear ink on my cards.(or whatever it was I was printing)

Also, you might find a local printer interested in doing small batches. I am currently exploring this as an option, and I do plan to put cards on CafePress as well.

I love this mandala, by the way. Just absolutely love it!

I will be featuring your cards at Mandala Madness, I'm working to get the post done today before I have to leave for work. If it's not up today, it will for sure be up tomorrow.

Blessings... and have a great day!

Unknown said...

Shirley: I have considered both of these options, but it is not one I choose to take at this time. Maybe down the road, when Im convinced there is actually a return to be made for the time invested in setting up a store there.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Sue,

I am very glad that you had already printed your order!! It is a hassle for sure. The cost of the inks is through the roof - we have certainly talked about this before.

I also prefer the archival inks for my cards - but you know this. Though I have a crummy printer that I am thinking of testing to see if I can print cards more affordably.

But I do want to print prints with the archival - but there is a more reasonable profit margin on them.

Keep me in the loop!

~ Diane Clancy

healingmagichands said...

I know very little about printers and inks. But I do know that there are places where you can get your ink cartridges refilled, and it is much cheaper than buying the whole cartridge. Is this possible with the Epson printer cartridges? Maybe you need to find another printer. I have a Lexmark and it works great for me. It wasn't horribly expensive, either. But again, I don't know if it uses archival quality ink, either.

Hope you get it all sorted out.

Artists With Artitude said...

This is indeed very frustrating...

Bobbie said...

Don't get me started...well you already have. The greed of American companies is astounding. Now they almost give away the printers just so they can lock you into the ink cartridges. Which are so over priced they are ridiculous.

It reminds me of the Prilosec scam where AstraZenica has fought tooth and nail to keep Prilosec proprietary even after their patent expired, and still have a proprietary medication even though it is OTC.

Greed is what this is.

There! Now I feel better :)