United States Code Annotated
Title 15 Commerce and Trade
Chapter 50 Consumer Product Warranties 15 § 2302
Prohibitions on conditions for written or implied warranty; waiver by commission

"(c) No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer's using, in connection with such product, any article or service ( other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the commission if -

(1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and

(2) the commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest. "

What does this mean to printer users?

This means that the manufacturer of your printer cannot legally void your warranty on your printer because you use a third party manufactured item or service. This includes compatible brand cartridges, refill kits, etc...

However, the manufacturer cannot be expected to cover under warranty any repairs required on a printer which originated from a product or service that they do not manufacture, co-manufacture, or authorize for use in their products.

Regarding Service Contracts or Maintenance Contracts: These are usually not considered a warranty but an agreement between a service center or manufacturer and a consumer. The contract must specifically state that you may not use a third party product for such a condition to be considered a valid reason for voiding or terminating a service contract. In general most service contracts contain a general clause stating that "excessive service calls due to a third party product" may result in additional charges or termination of the service contract. Be careful though, many service companies will blame a third party product even when it isn't related to the problem. Check the repair log or invoice to see what work was actually done.

Third party products are not limited to consumables such as inkjet cartridges or toner cartridges. They also include machine parts not manufactured by the printer manufacturer and papers within the specification set for the machine but not authorized by the manufacturer.