Tech company, HP and local authorities have seized more than 7000 counterfeit items in Kenya and Tanzania. According to a report, officials from the computer manufacturer collaborated with local authorities in Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, and Mwanza to raid commercial outlets dealing in counterfeit products.
Local authorities raided multiple business facilities between July and September 2021, based on intelligence provided by local HP partners. During the raid, ten significant suppliers of counterfeit HP printer cartridges were shut down.
The most common counterfeited product recovered from the facilities are the HP toner cartridges. The cartridges are reportedly designed to look like original HP cartridges. However, they do not deliver the high print quality associated with original HP products. In the long run, the fake cartridges can easily cause damage to printers and are expensive due to the frequent need to change them.
“For resellers and distributors, the sale of counterfeit printer and toner cartridges is an infringement of intellectual property, which can have serious reputational repercussions for consumers.” Bradley Pulford, VP and Managing Director, HP Africa said.
“Illicit products can deliver a poor experience and damage hardware. Authentic ink and toner cartridges have been developed to deliver consistent quality results that users can trust.”
According to a recent study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), counterfeit and pirated goods account for up to 3.3 percent of global trade, or USD $509 billion.
Last year, the company announced that it was exiting East Africa citing unfriendly tax laws and an increase in counterfeit products. HP appeared to have won the battle against the menace as a couple of arrests were made. However, new counterfeiters came up and it may have become quite difficult to contain the scourge.