Canon Defendant: Disables Scanner Due to Out of Ink

Canon (Canon) is a global leading integrated group in the production of imaging and information products in Japan. Since its establishment in 1937, after years of unremitting efforts, Canon has globalized and expanded its business into various fields. Canon’s product line is distributed in three major areas: personal products, office equipment and industrial equipment, the main products include cameras and lenses, digital cameras, printers, copiers, fax machines, scanners, broadcasting equipment, medical equipment and semiconductor production equipment, etc. .

Canon is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and has 4 regional sales headquarters in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Japan, 200 subsidiaries around the world, and more than 100,000 employees.

Canon printers and Canon cameras and lenses occupy a large share of the domestic and commercial markets in China.

Canon USA is currently being sued because some printer owners are not allowed to use scanner or fax functions when they run out of ink.

Canon customer David Leacraft filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday, accusing the printer maker of deceptive marketing and unjust enrichment.

Refuse to scan when out of ink

Using the Canon Pixma MG6320 printer, the plaintiff was surprised to find that the “all-in-one” would refuse to scan or fax documents if the printer ran out of ink.

The plaintiff argued that since no ink was required to perform a scan, the printer functions should continue to work even when there was no ink in the device. “If plaintiff David knew he had to keep ink in the device to scan documents, he would not have purchased the device or paid as much for it,” the class-action complaint reads.

Since at least 2016, other customers have contacted Canon about this exact issue and have been told by Canon Technical Support that an ink cartridge must be installed and contain ink to use the printer’s scanning capabilities, as follows:

The complaint further illustrates the image on the box of the Pixma MG2522, where Canon advertises that its all-in-one printer includes three distinct functions – print, copy and scan.

However, there is no warning that ink is required for all of these functions.

More posts were spotted also showing Canon telling customers that if they wish to print in grayscale, all ink tanks must be filled with ink, as this could damage the printer.

“The PIXMA MX710 must have all ink tanks installed, and they must all have ink. If you try to print with no ink or empty ink, you may damage the printer,” a dealer tech support replies on the Canon forums Say.

Force users to buy ink cartridges

Thus, the class action alleges that consumers were tricked into purchasing a product that was designed to artificially and unethically introduce functional bottlenecks by associating them with ink levels, even though there was no actual connection between them.

“In contrast to the ‘single function’ printers it sells, Canon calls these multifunction devices ‘three-in-one’ or ‘four-in-one’ because they purportedly offer three or four functions”. Class action lawsuit against Canon USA.

“In fact, the all-in-one will not scan or fax documents when the device is low on or empty (‘design issue’), and Canon’s advertising claims are false, misleading, and likely to deceive the public. “

According to the lawsuit, Canon was accused of unjust enrichment by doing so only to increase its profits by selling replacement ink cartridges.


Considering that printer ink typically expires after two or three years, even if someone rarely or never prints on these all-in-ones, they will actually be forced to keep buying new ink to use all the features of the device.

“There is no rationale or technical basis for making an all-in-one with ink level detection that causes the scanner to stop working when it is low or out of ink. Canon designed the all-in-one in such a way that consumers are required to keep it in their devices ink, whether they were meant to be printed or not,” the complaint continued.

“The result was an increase in ink sales, which Canon made a decent profit from.”

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, seeks class damages of at least $5,000,000 (approximately RMB 32.17 million), excluding interest, fees and litigation costs.

The violations alleged in the complaint are:

New York General Business Law Section 349

New York General Business Law Section 350

breach of express warranty

unjust enrichment

Material information not disclosed

In the US, if you bought this all-in-one printer from Canon and had a similar problem, you may be eligible for class action damages in the future. It’s important to note, however, that the class-action lawsuit, filed this week, has not yet been approved by the court.

Foreign media contacted Canon America with questions about the lawsuit, but received no response.

Previously, this week, the United States notified more than 700 companies for brushing good reviews / deceiving customers, etc., and a fine of 280,000!

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