Dear ASCDI Members:
This has been a big week for the ASCDI, our membership and the whole technology resale and service industry.
A couple of days ago we learned that Continuant won a $60 Million judgment in the court case brought against them by Avaya almost 8 years ago. Avaya claimed that Continuant, an independent maintainer and ASCDI Member, had violated Avaya’s intellectual property rights when it performed third party maintenance on Avaya products. From the start of this case the ASCDI supported Continuant and the notion that third-party maintainers should not be denied any of the diagnostics and tools necessary for end users to choose who maintained their equipment. Please take a look at the verdict form and a great article on the case.
Today we received more great news. ASCDI’s hard work on international trade is starting to pay dividends. Today the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued its report on “Trade Barriers That U.S. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Perceive As Affecting Exports to the European Union” The purpose of the ITC’s investigation and report is not to make policy recommendations, but rather to “catalogue” trade barriers as a tool for USTR in conducting the US-EU Trade Negotiations. ASCDI participated in the investigation to put owner’s rights and the “first sale” principle squarely on the table in the context of international trade.
We are pleased to report that we accomplished that objective. The ITC report’s list of EU barriers (pp. xii-xiii) specifically includes “excessive rights of original trademark owner” and the EU’s restrictive trademark regime is mentioned at several points, primarily in Chapter 4 (see p. 4-12). Our testimony is also discussed in more detail at D-1-11. Of course, the report also discusses of the importance of Intellectual Property Rights, which we acknowledge. Our victory here is that we have, for the first time ever, in an international context provided more balance in the discussion of those rights.
We ask you to forward this email to companies in our industry who are not yet members asking them to join us in our quest for a world in which end users have the right to choose who they buy their technology products and services from.
With their help and your continued support, we will continue to do great things.
Thank you all and have a great weekend.