GoDaddy customer service : Suggest I order GoDaddy?? Dell seeks damages from man called Dell!

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That is very interesting. I'm actually very surprised that Dell would sue him - and personally don't see how they could win (although I don't doubt that they will). Both his sites are now redirecting to Dell the company, btw. If you want to see his site, check Google's cache.

Go Dell [the guy]!..

Comments (40)

I almost felt sorry for him, until I read the side note about his grandfather using sneaky "copycat" names to push well-known trademarks using his given legal name. Frankly, I think that the family history will really kill him in court.

The and sites are pretty (very) thin IMHOthey look like more of an attempt at justifying the domain names than any real attempt at commerce.

If I had to venture a guess I'd say that Mr. Dell has at least on one occasion offered to sell his domains to Dell Computer, but I'm sure it wasn't cheap and now they're going to court.

It will indeed be an intersting case.



Comment #1

You mean this: That's about the reporter (article's author), not Mr. Dell...

Comment #2

That is friggin ridiculous. No one likes Dell. Why are they suing this poor guy who is also named absurd..

Comment #3

Dell suck. I was planning to buy a computer from them, but now, I will stick with gateway. They are a kind and genuine company. I have purchased one pc in my whole life, and that was a gateway one back in 1999. I am still using the same machine now to type this message (with a few small upgrades)...

Comment #4

Wow this is just as bad as microsoft suing some kid named mike roe who created a site called or something like that. This is ridiculous. I hope he wins...

Comment #5

In all honesty I doubt they will win. Forexample:- So any website he creates he would not be allowed to mention his own name. Also his sites are not directly in competition with Dell so their trademark should not matter.

I should imagine that the fact they have gone after him in the past will not do them any good as they just walked away from it...

Comment #6

If he gets a good lawyer, his chances are good..

If he doesnt, his chances are slim....

I dont like what Dell is doing one bit, but they do offer servers etc..., so Mr. Dell's business could be remotely seen as competing with Dell and/or using their brand name for his profit..

I really hope he gets a good lawyer and wins the case, and sues Dell for damages...

Comment #7

This is totally insane.

What if a webmaster could not use his or her name on his site.

There should be no trademark issues with this. I also hope that the guy wins the case.

If this kind of things carry on then there will be nothing left with us (Domainers)...

Comment #8

Today's lesson: Never name your kid after a multinational!.

How about Jim McDonalds?..

Comment #9

And that's the point.

This is nothing new, and it is not peculiar to domains. You do NOT have an unqualified right to use your own name as a trademark if it unfairly competes with, or rides on, someone else's reputation.

If your name is McDonald, you do NOT have a right to operate a fast food restaurant using your name. If your name is Dow, you do NOT have right to run a chemical company using your name, etc.

This guy has been around for a while, pushing the edge. He could have made it clear, if he was designing web sites, that it was "Websites by Paul Dell" or something to that effect.

From the cache... Ahhhh.... the "secret portfolio". If he has an "online brochure", he can't put it online because.... uh, hmmmmm.... Dell is a one of the most well-known computer-related marks on the planet, and you don't see a trademark issue with someone using "Dell" as a mark in a related area?.

Okay then... I'm off to Alaska to start the Kodiak camera company... no trademark issue there....

If anyone remembers the Eddie Murphy film "Coming to America", you might not have understood one of the jokes of the film. His girlfriend's father, named McDougal, ran a fast-food restaurant and he was trying to explain the difference between his restaurant and McDonald's... "They have golden arches. We have golden 'arcs'...."..

Comment #10

Disagree. we are not in answer for what our granparents or parents did during their life...

Comment #11

Gee. I guess the guy should have done some research to see if there was anyone providing IT services under the name of Dell.

I can appreciate how it might suck to want to start a business and not be able to use your own name. You'd then be forced to devote a few seconds to coming up with a something a bit more creative. I mean hey, Michael Dell didn't have to do that, why should this guy. Oh yeah, because he did it first and that's the way trademarks work.

What if the shoe was on the other foot. Lets say the little guy used the name first and someone with plenty of cash came along and wanted to muscle him out simply because they had the same last name. Would you still support the new guys right to use his last name or would you stick with the underdog as a matter of principle?..

Comment #12

Some companies just take trademark's to the extreme, this is a perfect example of abuse.....

Comment #13

Again! lol.

I misread the articleI thought Dell's grandfather was the one challenging other TM's.

Nonetheless, the content of Mr. Dell's websites is VERY thinIMHO a fairly transparent effort to stake out a claim to the use of his name via some form of commerce, but it's pretty obvious to me that little, if any, commerce is really happening on his websitesI think he's trying to soak Dell comp. for the rights to his domains and I predict he'll loose in court.

If he wants to start "" or "" he probably wouldn't have as much troublemaybe.

Companies spend billions on branding, and they will vigorously protect those rights. As another poster said, I my last name is Apple, Nike, Rolex, etc. I'm just not going to be able to exploit my legal name for my own personal benefit by riding on the coat tails of another co.'s TM...

Comment #14

The guy is obviously riding on Dell's reputation. Dell is perfectly within their right to sue him,and to be honest, I hope they win. He KNEW who Dell was, and shouldn't have used that name to mislead people...

Comment #15

It seems nobody picked up the fact that Dell tried to sue him before but walked away I wonder why. Well, we all know if we bring lawyers in, we can get both sides going.


Comment #16

Just about everyone know who "Dell" is, so that's not a valid point almost..

I hope that the Dell guy wins, as his last name is dell, and seems to be intitled to run sites of his choosing using his last name.

Dell will probably win out, just because they have the money to spare to "steal" the domains from the poor guy...

Comment #17

Never rely on news stories for procedural details of legal disputes. They probably sent him a c&d letter, and haven't gotten around to nailing him until now...

Comment #18

Yes, you may be right. Then we can not also believe the amounts given in that news item. IMHO.


Comment #19

As has been mention a googal amount of times.... Usage of the domain or creating ways to use a domain instead of having actual usage for the domain also matters in determining if you are violating TMs (poeple should take note)...

Comment #20

For those who are curious about Dr. Berryhill's reference to the movie "Coming.

To America": While current copyright and trademark laws need more work, the writing's on.

The wall.

The Dell guy's walking on thin ice. He'll need all the luck he can get (if any).

To be able to win this, which is seriously doubtful...

Comment #21

The principle that you do not have an unqualified right to use your name as a commercial mark is pretty old, and pretty reasonable.

I named my kids Coca-Cola and Xerox...

Comment #22

So, what ever happened with Microsoft's suit against Mike Rowe?..

Comment #23

I am not going to buy a dell if dell computers wins.


Comment #24

And would you have bought a dell anyway? I dont think it would make a blind bit of difference if a guy on a forum decides not to buy 1. That is all good and well but they plan on making him pay $500 for every mention of Dell on the site (if the article can be beleived). So say if he changed the site so it was not trying to ride on the name of Dell Computors he would still if they got their way not even be allowed to have his name or contact details on the site. Surely that is taking the trademark way too far and surely he has a right to mention his own name on his own site or should he change his name so that it does not infringe Dell's mark...

Comment #25

All I can say is BS it is just another big company trying to get get away with whatever they want and push the little guy around and push him into giving up his site. I hope he wins I have had companys contact me also about things and when I told them basically I wasn't scared and they need to talk to my lawyer they never replied lol. But I hope he wins and I think the judge if he is not payed off lol will vote in the mans behalf...

Comment #26

This is not what the article says. You're reading too much into it. I hate those pretentious double barrelled names. Then again, maybe I'll name my next kid Wal-Mart..

Comment #27

I'm convinced that people post without reading the other comments.

When you start a business, there is an infinitude of things you can call your business. There are a lot of people named "Ford". Are you telling me that if Jim Ford decides he wants to make custom auto body parts that he can call his business the "Ford Auto Body Parts"? Or if he was in the loan business, can he call it "Ford Auto Financing"?.

No, he can't. And it is not taking trademark law too far to say that just because your name happens to be Ford you can't run an auto-related business under that name.

I can't open a Mexican restaurant and serve Berryhill Tacos, because there is a franchise out of Texas that has a federal trademark registration for BERRYHILL in connection with tacos. I'll have to call my Mexican restaurant something else. It's that simple.

A consumer could easily believe that "Dell Websites" has something to do with Dell computer, which provides web servers and I believe also provides web hosting. It is not fair for someone to ride on that reputation, no matter whether their name is Dell or not...

Comment #28

Ta heck with Dell! Buy from your local NPers!.

Hint Hint.

I personally hate dell.. but it would be a failure in the legal system if this guy got away with it.

And no, Dell does not provide hosting... And I hope they never do... nor would be the end of us all!..

Comment #29


Dell Inc. (DOM-370250).

One Dell Way MS 8033 Round Rock TX 78682 US.

Domain Name:

Comment #30

Wait, I remember reading that dellhost was sold to some company in 2003. I.

Wonder what were their agreements on the usage of TMs on the name, if any.

Of course, that's something I'll probably have to ask them...

Comment #31

At first I was siding with Mr. Dell but now that is reversed after finishing the article..

1- Dell has a big reputation(whether it is good or bad is personal opinion, tying to stick with facts here) and it is so close to his domain name that he could be riding on their rep for sales.

2- Why doesn't he have a secret portfolio? Fishy to me...

3- TM's are TM's. That is written in stone(hypothetically speaking). If they held no value they would be worthless. Mr. Dell knows who DELL is and probably knew before hand. He might even have a DELL comp but thats a guess.

4- DELL withdrew they sueing probly just to leave out the hassle. Big corporate business have lots to do, why mess with something petty. They could have sent him a letter and just know gotten to it as previously mentioned.

5- You can't copyright Dictionary words. Dell isn't a word that is considered un TM or Copyrighted.

DELL is clearly in their realm when they think they have the right to sue him. I am sure he could have changed it to something else easily but what was holding him up?.


Comment #32

You can't copyright any word. You can only copyright a creative work and simply making up a word isn't enough. But you can trademark just about any word. There are thousands of trademarks which consist of a single word which you can find in any dictionary. Apple is one that comes to mind in the context of this thread. Strawberry, Peach, and Pear are also names of fruit which can be found in the dictionary and have been trademarked...

Comment #33

Firstly yes I did read the whole thread as well as the article I understand that my point was if he changed his site so that it did NOT infringe the Dell trademark accroding to the article :- So if he has his contact details as Paul Dell etc then they would still want $500 for every time he wants to use his own name as contact details. That is taking the meaning of a trademark too far. My name is Peter McDonald, McDonalds cannot try and get me fined for every time I mention my own name on a website (if they could then I would be due them literrally millions of dollars.

Of course if McDonald's come knocking on my door I would be more than happy to fight the battle as I am damn sure they have absolutely no right to do such a thing...

Comment #34

Dell (the company) can shuv it up their tradmarking ass's. I hope the guy wins over the big company!..

Comment #35

To begin with, you have to bear in mind that the only source of information on this is an incoherent press release by the defendant which is being quoted and requoted. He claims he has been ordered to pay this, that, and the other thing, but if you read the original document you see that statement was made before any court case. At that point he would not possible have been ordered to pay anything because there had not yet been a court sessions to allow a judge to issue an order.

It is not uncommon to ask for damages for each instance of an infringement Dell may ask for this, but the judge makes the decision, and a decision had not been made when that quote was released. No judge is going to rule that he will have to pay Dell money any time he wants to use his name on the contact details of a page for future websites.

You are making wild assumptions based on inaccurate information about an event that hasn't happened yet...

Comment #36

But then Dell is a company and companys can be persuasive towards judges about their company names...

Comment #37

Judges aren't dumb, in general.

Now, this thing is going on in France, so I don't know what their pleading requirements are. In the US, when a statute such as the ACPA provides "up to $100,000" in damages, subject to the judge's discretion, then you ASK for $100,000. The judge can award whatever he wants.

There's something else that people don't seem to get about lawsuits. Relative to the number of suits filed, trials are very rare. Most suits settle, and there is a lot of communication between the parties before the proceeding gets anywhere near a trial. Now, Dell has been in communication with this guy for quite a long time now... when he was first threatened by Dell, there was a boatload of discussion at that time due to his efforts to attract publicity/sympathy/donations. This situation is similar to Uzi Nissan's self-proclaimed martyrdom over his computer company...

When a dispute drags on that long, it is a symptom of someone being unreasonable about how to settle it...

Comment #38

You are correct that it is about the reporter. But what does that reporter's great-g-father have anything to do to this case? (why is it even mentioned in the article?)..

Comment #39

That the writer had someone in his family adversely affected by something similar could affect his opinion. This fact is mentioned to place the article in perspective. Its simply honest journalism...

Comment #40

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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