Andy Dean - Fotolia

Cisco wins court battle against grey trader

The networking vendor has won a victory against two directors of Manchester-based Gen-X

Cisco is enjoying a victory in the battle against the grey market after it obtained a court order in its favour against Gen-X.

The vendor started legal proceedings against directors of Manchester-based Gen-X, Alan Gould and Kelley Stuart, on the grounds that they had infringed trade marks and been dealing in counterfeit, parallel imported products.

The two directors have accepted the judgment and are now subject to a court injunction that will prevent them from infringing Cisco's trade marks in the future, which also applies to actions they carry out through Causeway Distribution.

The ruling covers future trading and any parties that relate to the two directors, including Causeway Distribution, Nujack and their relatives and employees.

Gould and Stewart have also agreed to pay the vendor a seven figure settlement penalty.

Gen-X was placed into administration at the start of court proceedings back in January 2016 and the process of sorting out the firms affairs is still ongoing.

Cisco takes a firm line on grey trading, not only to protect its own revenues but also to ensure that its authorised channel partners are not losing out to unfair competition.

Neil Sheridan, Cisco director of brand protection, said that it was determined to defend its trade marks.

"This action, together with other successes we have had with the City of London Police, demonstrate the strength of Cisco's enforcement of its intellectual property rights," he said.

"We have obtained significant remedies from Alan Gould and Kelley Stewart, which show that the directors and senior management of companies that choose to infringe Cisco's rights can and will be the targets of Cisco's enforcement action," he added.

The vendor is clearly hoping that the Gen-X case will act as an example of the consequences of taking liberties with its trade marks.

"Last year's UK Supreme Court decision that trading in grey products, as well as counterfeit products, can result in criminal prosecution is further proof that trading outside Cisco's authorised distribution network will have consequences," added Sheridan.

Read more on Small Business Networks