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Dell bites Tiger’s tail

Round Rock (TX) – Hardware giant Dell sued Tiger Direct for breaching its trademark. The case started in a New York district court on the 17th of April.

Tiger Direct is a former authorized reseller for Dell. It’s alleged that Tiger Direct repeatedly violated Dell’s terms and conditions for the resale of Dell products and said products it sold were covered by a Dell warranty.

Dell alleges that Tiger Direct has “repeatedly transacted business with customers throughout the United States…and sold and shipped infringing products bearing the mark Dell into New York without Dell’s authorization or permission, and has made false representations of material fact concerning the source, sponsorship, nature and quality of the Dell products it has offered for sale and sold in New York.”

The filing continues: “Defendant purposefully interjected itself into New York by its operation of a nationwide business through a commercial web site whereby Defendant purposefully and deliberately engaged in trademark infringement, false advertising, false representation, and unfair competitive practices.”

Tiger Direct was an authorized reseller of Dell products until May 2007, and was bound by terms and conditions. But, Dell alleges, when Tiger was authorized, it adopted and used without permission the trade names “Dell SuperStore” and “Dell Monitor Shop” and “falsely conveyed to consumers that Defendant’s products were state of the art Dell computer models when in fact they were old, outdated and no longer sold by Dell”.

Dell believes that Tiger was “engaged in recidivist wrongdoing”. It repeatedly protested about giving warranties it couldn’t do, it’s alleged. In December 2008, Dell said in the filing it learned that Tiger was continuing to use a Dell logo. Last December, Dell sent a written protest to Tiger Direct and sent five reminders. Tiger Direct’s in house lawyer wrote on 12th of January 2009 saying “I’m sorry for the delay in responding. We will review and get back to you shortly”. But answer more than that comes there none, claimed Dell.

Dell wants an injunction, all Dell materials, damages, three times the profits that Tiger Direct may have made, court costs, and exemplary and punitive damages.