Dell Inc. Sues Web Designer Named Paul Dell
February 18, 2006 2:37 AM
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The computer company allegedly offered to purchase the site from Mr. Dell several years ago, but the deal was never completed
Paul Dell, owner of DellWebSites.com, an online web site design service, is
being targeted by the online PC vendor Dell
. Dell is allegedly committing "an act of parasitism" and creates "a risk of confusion" for consumers, according to Dell attorneys. Dell is being sued for $120,000 in damages to Dell America, $60,000 to Dell France, each remaining Dell company $48,000 and $600 for each time the word Dell is used on his web site.
(Paul) Dell is going to fight the charges in court, but it is obvious that his legal battle with the company will most likely be shortlived. Several years ago a similar case occurred when Mike Rowe was served cease and desist letters for
We have been informed that the computer company Dell never made an offer to purchase the domain from Paul Dell.
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Another point about good faith
2/18/2006 5:34:04 PM
I'm a personal friend of Paul's and know him quite well (online). You can Google me if you like -- Stephanie Sullivan. I do web development, speak, write and train.
I agree with the above synopsis of how the legal process will likely work. And to add one more thing showing Paul Dell is acting in good faith, he also does photography. Guess what Paul's photography company is called (use his formula and you'll get it on the first guess ;) )? Dell Images -
(lovely images of Menorca Spain where he lives.)
So in Paul's mind (maybe he's not so creative about coming up with names), he uses his last name and what he does. www.dellwebsites.com is where he builds websites. www.dellimages.com is where he displays and sells his photography. Hey, it ain't rocket science, but it works.
I'm one of the people encouraging him to fight and trying to help get the word out to the press. I do realize that corporations have to defend their trademarks, my husband knows all that stuff and we've discussed it ad nauseum. But I also know that most times, it does NOT get tried because the little guy just rolls over (how can most afford to fight?). Many times when they DO fight, they win. I mean, the corporations get ridiculous -- Microsoft was finally slowed down in their process of going after everyone even remotely related when the court wouldn't allow that www.mocosoft.com could be confusing. Perhaps they were trying to sue for all the illiterate people in the world who thought that was how their name was spelled, dunno... But it does get absurd at times.
Paul doesn't make computers. Paul doesn't even make software. Paul simply does web design WITH a computer. Paul has a web template he sold for 35Euro called Sunflowers. It's very pretty. He's giving that away as a free download to thank anyone that contributes any amount to his defense fund. My friend Paul is a very cool guy and I hope some of you will help us help him. :)
RE: Another point about good faith
2/18/2006 6:24:35 PM
I can understand his perspective, but in the eyes of the law, he is just too late to be using his name. There have been several cases where people were actually FORCED to change their names in order to be able to continue their businesses. Similar problem with a big company you can find at www.nissan.com
Also, if Paul really wanted to battle (Michael) Dell's lawsuit, his main page would be helped a lot by a disclaimer noting no affiliation with Dell Computers. Might not be exactly the most stylish statement to have, but would undermine the case, especially if it was done for an extended period of time.
Considering that the lawsuit is not Multimillion dollar as they usually are, it has a great chance of succeeding. I am not sure if anything will appease Dell Computers at this point of time, but I would drop the case if there was a distinct disclaimer on the first page.
For all the ones claiming that the case has no merit, sorry to disappoint, the precedents are just overwhelmingly in favor of Dell Computers. Good luck to Paul figuring everything out.
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