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Imagine if the gas in your gas tank expired after a certain date; worse, your gas cap locks so you’re unable to fill the tank with any gas at all. That’s not a perfect analogy, but it’s close to what is alleged Hewlett Packard is doing with its ink jet printer cartridges.

A Georgia woman is suing HP, claiming that its ink jet cartridges are programmed to expire on a certain date, even if they haven’t been used at all. The goal of such a ludicrous lock, of course, would be preventing people from refilling their cartridges with third-party ink. HP, conveniently, says it does not comment on pending litigation. Here’s hoping that the claim, if true, lands the women a big class action settlement.

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