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Dell Sues Tiger Direct, Alleges Old Computers Sold As New

Dell wants its former reseller to pay damages and restitution for what it called, 'Defendant's willful, intentional acts and tortious acts.'

In its suit, filed on April 17 in the U.S. District Court for the southern district of New York, Dell is seeking three times the profits made by Tiger Direct on products it alleges were sold "as a result of defendant's wrongful actions" or three times Dell's damages, whichever is greater, as well as unspecified punitive damages and its court costs.

Neither Dell nor Tiger Direct, a Miami-based online retailer and subsidiary of distributer and system builder Systemax, would comment on the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, Dell alleged that Tiger Direct, while it was an authorized Dell reseller, adopted and used without permission the trade names "Dell SuperStore" and "Dell Monitor Shop" with the trademark "DELL" in a box that looked as if it would contain a Dell computer. That box was placed below the name in such as way as to dwarf the name, the lawsuit alleged.

"Such description 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conveyed to consumers that Defendant's products were state-of-the-art Dell computer models when in fact they were old, outdated and no longer sold by Dell, and did not posses the same speed or performance value as newer models of 'brand new' Dell computer models," Dell alleged.

Tiger Direct also falsely said that Dell would provide three months of support for products it sold, according to the lawsuit. When Dell contacted Tiger Direct about this claim, Tiger Direct made corrections, but then, according to the lawsuit, it later falsely wrote that Dell products offered for sale had "a limited warranty of 3 months for parts and 3 months for labor. This warranty is provided by Dell."

Dell also alleged that Tiger Direct for a time made unclear statements on its Web site that made it hard for potential customers to distinguish between new and refurbished Dell products, and said that warranties for refurbished products were provided by Dell when in fact they were provided by unaffiliated third parties.

Dell further alleged that, starting around December of 2008, Tiger Direct started infringing on the Dell logo, which consists of the word "Dell" in capital letters with the letter "E" slanting at an angle.

Dell terminated its reseller agreement with Tiger Direct in about May of 2007.

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