A couple of years ago, I heard about a seller on eBay selling genuine Epson inks for the 9900. Sure enough I bought them at a significant discount, and
they performed brilliantly. Some time later, I had an Epson specialist come visit the studio to look into our 11880's issues, this fellow was not a Decision One tech, but the east coast specialist for Epson USA.
We talked about the fact that my 9900 and 11880 had this eBay purchased ink, (which was Indonesian variety, not Japan or China ... and now apparently Mexico)
He told me Epson was very aware of this situation and was not pleased this was happening.
I didn't think anything of it....
until recently when (after firmware updates were made on both units) that same ebay ink, was failing to be recognized. I contacted Epson, they setup a crossshipping swap... and all was well...
It got me thinking, so I checked Amazon, and sure enough, on other printer models, there are people buying ink from outside markets, and having failure to recognize errors in large numbers.
I don't recall seeing this 'feature' in any firmware, software driver, etc updates from Epson. I wonder however, if this is what has happened so Epson can protect different pricing in different markets.
I'm sure there's no way to examine the firmware code, to compare old firmware vs. current firmware.
I'm sure Epson USA would never publicly admit if indeed this was planned and implemented.
With the Supreme Court ruling this year about first-sale doctrine, I suspect our technologies will have more controls put into place
>>From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine
However, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., in 2013, the United States Supreme Court held in a 6-3 decision that the first-sale doctrine applies to goods manufactured abroad, even if they were manufactured abroad with the copyright owner's permission and imported into the US. The case involved a plaintiff who imported Asian editions of textbooks that were manufactured abroad with the publisher-plaintiff's permission. The defendant then without permission from the publisher imported the textbooks and resold on eBay. The Supreme Court's holding severely limits the ability of copyright holders to charge vastly different prices in different markets due to ease of arbitrage. The decision does remove incentives to US manufacturers to shift the manufacturing abroad to attempt to circumvent the first-sale doctrine altogether.
Curious if anyone here in the USA, has more knowledge on the Indonesian inks from Epson