Los Angeles, CA – Trademark attorneys file trademark infringement and Lanham Act 43(a) unfair competition lawsuit, on behalf of Dell, in Los Angeles Federal District Court, alleging infringement of Dell’s USPTO registered trademarks against resellers. Dell has been selling personal computers since 1984 and has registered its Dell trademark and variations thereof in more than 180 countries worldwide, and has more than thirty United States federal trademark registrations containing the term Dell. Since its inception, Dell has primarily used a direct sales model to sell directly to consumers rather than through retail outlets, first through telephone and also the Internet. Dell, however, permits a limited number of authorized resellers, which have to abide by Dell’s reseller terms and conditions.
Dell alleges that the four individual defendants enrolled in Dell’s reseller program and became bound by the resale terms, where “defendants agreed (1) to refrain from unauthorized use of Dell’s trademarks; (2) not to resell Dell product without first adding value through the addition of hardware, software, or services; (3) not to resell Dell product on auction-type websites [such as eBay]; and (4) to resell their Dell product to small and medium businesses.” The complaint alleges that the defendants have used aliases to purchase Dell products and sold them through unauthorized trade channels and on eBay in violation of the reseller agreement and have made misrepresentations and misused Dell’s trademarks. For example, the defendants have allegedly sold products on eBay as “new” when they were, in fact, refurbished. The complaint asserts that “Defendants have, through their scheme of deliberate misrepresentation and concealment, purchased millions of dollars worth of Dell products from Dell and resold such product in breach of their contractual obligations to Dell and in violation of Dell’s trademark rights.” The complaint alleges the following causes of action: (1) Trademark counterfeiting and infringement 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114; (2) Unfair competition and false advertising under section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); (3) Trademark dilution under the Lanham Act section 43, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c); (4) Unfair competition and false advertising under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200 and 17500; (5) Unjust enrichment; (6) Breach of contract; (7) Fraud; and, (8) Civil conspiracy. The case is titled Dell, Inc. v. Kizun, et al., CV08-01821 JSL (C.D. California)