USA versions of the Epson SureColor printers are locked
Epson has locked the North American SureColor P-series printers against use with 3rd party cartridges. The models that are affected as of this writing are the SC P-800, SC P-6000, SC P-7000, SC P-8000, SC P-9000, SC P-10000, SC P-20000. The SC P-600 is not affected.
Epson clearly states in their literature and website that these models "are designed to work exclusively with specially formulated Epson inks, and not with other brands of cartridges or inks." These same printer models however, can be used outside of the USA with other brands of cartridges and inks. Refillable cartridges work with both the European and Asian versions of these printers.
However, in the USA versions refillable cartridges can only be used temporarily. Once a cartridge chip resets or reads empty, the printer will lock out the user from any further use of 3rd party carts. We have been informed by a supplier that these USA version printers are tracking chip IDs and that Epson has issued at least 30 different chip IDs per color position. For example, a P-800 would have 30 IDs times 9 color positions. The amount of possible chip ID combinations is therefore 30 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 30. This is greater than 30 billion possible Chip ID combinations. The likelihood of an OEM ink cartridge user installing the same combination of Chip IDs is less than one in 30 billion. However, as soon as a refillable cartridge chip resets there is a 100% chance of the printer detecting the same Chip ID combination. As complicated as it is, it is a very simple but powerful anti-3rd party cartridge lock. Unfortunately, the Chip ID of a chip can not be reset (as of this writing), and 3rd party chip manufacturers can not afford to produce 270 different chips for each printer model (as of this writing).
What we do know, and have warned against since the introduction of these printers is that any USA customer that is sold refillable cartridges is being sold them by a unreliable sources. Ignorance by a supplier is not an acceptable excuse. If you have purchased refill carts for use in your SureColor printer, there is nothing you can do to prevent the lock. As soon as one cartridge reads empty, the lock will occur and can not be removed. The printer can only be restored to use with OEM carts.
You will see inks for sale on InkjetMall that are intended for use in SureColor P series printers- but these are intended for our European and Asian customers. It is possible to purchase and import an EU or Asian version of these printers, but Epson will not provide you with warranty support for a "gray market" printer.
This type of consumable choice prevention activity is not limited to Epson. Other OEMs are doing this also. Recently, HP locked its printers against use with 3rd party carts in the USA. HP customers were so outraged that they filed complaints with the FTC and other consumer watchdog organizations. HP was pressured into issuing both an apology and a firmware upgrade to unlock these printers.