Sham: Fake laser print cartridges seized from a manufacturer of bogus printing items Image Credit:

DUBAI Sophisticated manufacturers of fake printing items who have targeted the UAE as their operations hub will face relentless enforcement action, an Hewlett Packard official has warned.

The warning came following a series of raids in recent months that yielded millions of knockoff printing products, some of which look strikingly similar to the real items.

Ernest Azzam, HP’s laser and enterprise solutions business manager, said: “Countries such as the UAE… function as transport hubs for counterfeiters due to their large ports and extensive transportation links.”

Since 2011, the UAE authorities have seized over two million counterfeit components destined for HP printers alone. “That’s a significant figure and indicates that counterfeiters have targeted the UAE as a major focus of their operations. As the seizures indicate, HP and law enforcement agents are fighting back successfully.”

The official has also urged users to report counterfeiting incidents.

HP uses a free software that allows users to validate whether an installed ink cardridge is genuine or not.

An industry report shows counterfeits account for eight per cent of revenues from sales of imaging supplies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Research firm Gartner estimates that EMEA’s printer, copier and multi-functional product market stood at €14.4 billion (Dh66 
billion) in 2008. HP announced on June 3 the largest seizure of counterfeit HP printing supplies, blamed for causing leaks and being prone to failure.

The US-based company, which established its anti-counterfeiting programme in the region in 2006, has announced that its second enforcement action this year yielded 850,000 illicit printing items. The official said counterfeits undermine the trust customers have in the original printing supplies.

“What is particularly frustrating,” said Azzam, “is that purchasers often believe they’re receiving original quality, but instead find themselves with inferior fakes.”

Surprisingly, he said that while counterfeit printer items mostly originate from Asia-Pacific, there’s an increasing number also originating from the Middle East as well as Eastern European countries. “Infringers are often running legitimate business with original printier supplies, but in parallel, they also distribute and sell counterfeit products.”