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November 24, 1991

EUROPEAN LAUNCH OF COPAM MARRED BY LEGAL WRANGLE WITH ELONEX

By CBR Staff Writer

High Court injunctions, writs and threatened legal actions are adding colour to the European launch of Copam Electronics Ltd, the new London-based sales and marketing arm of the $100m Copam Electronics Corp of Taiwan. Until recently Copam marketed its personal computers via Elonex Plc, but the two companies have since parted company, and Barry Lloyd, Copam’s UK sales manager, is reticent about the nature of Copam’s former relationship with Elonex. Which is hardly surprising given that Elonex has served a writ on Copam and Lloyd claiming damages for slander and/or malicious falsehood. Elonex claims Copam has insinuated that Elonex is either unable or unwilling to maintain and support the Copam computers it sold between March 1986 and August 1991, also, that it is likely to breach its guarantee and maintenance obligations in respect of those computers. The issue is complicated further by a High Court injunction against Copam for trademark infringement, and Elonex says that its former supplier has 14 days to satisfy the claim for damages or contest that claim in court. Legal wrangling apart, Copam now intends to peddle direct to corporate customers that have in-house data-processing teams, and via value added resellers to smaller outfits. Also, they have appointed GTI, a Salisbury-based service and support company, to provide third-party after-sales support, although the plan is to set up a manufacturing facility in either Scotland or the north of England some time next year. Copam’s products range from notebook computers to high end 486-EISA systems, and the company anticipates selling some 10,000 boxes in the first year of trading and intends to capture 3% of the UK market within three years.

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