Plantronics caught in war of words over recent court settlement

It's been less than a week since Plantronics announced it has settled with a Manchester based firm in a trademark infringement case and it has been forced to defend its action

Plantronics has moved swiftly to quash any suggestions that it has been unfair in its dealings with Executive Telecommunications Limited, which trades as Incom Telecommunications.

The headset specialist agreed an out of court settlement with Incom last week but has since been accused by the Manchester-based firm of being heavy handed and unfair.

The Incom case is the latest in a growing list of cases that Plantronics has settled with firms that have been caught selling non-EU products into the UK. In some cases the kit has come with counterfeit labels and packaging.

Just days after the Incom settlement was made public Plantronics agreed an out of court settlement with Corporate Direct (Europe) Limited, which also trades in Manchester as Corptel, for the sale of goods that infringed EU Trademark laws.

Before the dust has settled on what must have been a busy week for Plantronics legal team the vendor has had to issue a statement clarifying what happened with Incom.

"Incom suggested our actions have been unfair and heavy-handed. On the contrary, Plantronics handled Incom as it would anyone else dealing in infringing products. The evidence of repeated wrongdoing presented by Plantronics was indisputable, a fact accepted by Incom. Any future infringers, including Incom should they infringe again, can expect the same approach by Plantronics," the firm stated.
"Incom suggested they can no longer sell Plantronics products. This is a commercial decision taken by Incom, and was not part of any agreement between Plantronics and Incom," it added "Plantronics' claims were entirely valid, justified and appropriate. Plantronics actions support the legitimate activities of our distributors and resellers."

Steve Kelly, director of Incom Telecommunications, said that it still felt that it had not been given the chance to react to the allegations and only heard about them once legal proceedings had started.

He added that some of the other firms in its position were given advice from the vendor about infringing trademark laws and the unfairness was around the lack of warning it had received.

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