Printer manufacturer HP has succumbed to pressure and is rolling back a printer update that stopped customers using cheaper third-party ink cartridges. The firmware security update, released last month, for OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X printers prevented cartridges without an Original HP security chip from working.

Initially, HP defended the move. “The purpose of this update is to protect HP’s innovations and intellectual property. These printers will continue to work with refilled or remanufactured cartridges with an Original HP security chip,” HP media and analyst relations manager Stephanie Aye said.

However, after widespread global criticism of the move, HP now says it “fell short” and announced it’s issuing an update that will allow third-party cartridges without an Original HP security chip to work. HP says the update should be ready mid-October. Further details can be found on its website. Note, this update is optional and requires you to download and install it yourself before you can use non-chipped third-party cartridges.

We contacted HP and let it know we thought restricting choice when it comes to third-party ink was an unfair move as it changes how consumers can use their printer after purchase. We are pleased HP has listened to its customers and changed its stance. However, we believe the rollback should be a compulsory update and not optional.