HP steps up hunt for counterfeit products
American multinational, Hewlett-Packard, is intensifying its fight against counterfeit products in Kenya with use of new technology for its printers and printing materials. The company is rolling out a new range of printers and verification codes able to detect fake ink ,cartridge and toners in a bid to save customers millions of money and also protect its brand reputation.
HP has rolled out a supply authentication software for its printers which will be able to tell if the ink, cartridge or toner are genuine.This will come pre-loaded on all the new -generation machines and can also be installed in the old ones. Janet Thiong'o, Ink, Web solutions product manager for East, West and southern Africa said, “This will send the user a notification before they start using, it will be particularly be useful for users who order in bulk from third parties and are not able to verify the supplier”.
Both original HP ink cartridge and toner will now come with Quick Response (QR) code, a mobile authentication feature a on which customers can verify before making any purchases. “After checking for the label’s holographic properties to verify authenticity, customers can capture the QR label with a smartphone to access HP Mobile Authentication and validate the label. Valid labels generate a confirmation message, which indicates that the cartridge has a valid code,” Thiong'o said.
Customers who do not have the ability to scan QR codes can also validate the new label before they open the box by entering the alpha numeric code printed next to the QR Code at the HP Mobile Authentication website. “Counterfeits are an industry problem and it is up to every player in the industry to play their part,” she said.
Other multinational that have been proactive in fighting counterfeited on the local scene are Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung among others. They have been working with Anti Counterfeit Agency and Kenya revenue authority to combat entry of fake products-mostly Asia- and their distribution