Friday, December 13, 2013

paul dell blog

No News Isn't Really Good News ... Or Bad

The hearings drag on. There's another on September 4th. PayPal suspended Paul's account a while back and he's still not jumped through all the hoops needed to get it going again. So to those of you that have asked, wanting to contribute, we're still working on it and hope to have it settled soon.

To the person that asked in the last post's comment, "What happens if Paul wins?" Does Dell have to pay his lawyer fees? Well, that completely depends on the judgment so there's no way to know at this time. But I for one certainly hope so. They should suffer financially for such a frivolous case. They know full well that Paul Dell has done zero damage to their trademark. It's ludicrous.

And so it goes... and drags... Thanks to all of you that continue to write words of support. It is appreciated. More as it happens...

It seems quiet...

... but it really isn't. There have been three hearings. And each time, issues are brought up and the hearing is moved a couple weeks out. Guess what this does? Eats money. So, I fear, Paul's initial lawyer fees are dwindling. I kept hoping that the next hearing would give me something to report to you, but alas, as certain decisions are not yet made, mum's the word.

Currently, with the venue in Paris, Paul in Spain and Dell in America, it's a bit difficult -- for Paul especially. There's not only the distance issue, but there's also a language barrier since he must use a French lawyer who knows that country's laws. There is an attempt now to move the hearings to a place where Paul can more easily participate.

If you've ever been involved in a lawsuit, you know how it goes. It drags and drags and drags and sucks up money. And corporations, with deep pockets and lawyers on staff know this. They anticipate that the little guy won't have any way to fight them due to limited resources. And many cases, that should have been tried for precedents to be set, are dropped.

We hope that doesn't happen to Paul. We feel this case needs to be tried, heard and decided. For the sake of all small guys in the world. Today, May 31, there was to be another hearing. I've not yet connected with Paul to see if he has news of what was decided yet (due to the venue it is sometimes two days before he finds out what went on). If you have a bit to spare, help Paul Dell get a fair trial. Help Paul win, get his life and business back and set a precedent for the next "little guy."

Interim Update

We know things seem a little quiet around here -- but plenty is happening behind the scenes. We wanted to give all Paul's supporters a quick update.

Everything continues to be full steam ahead. The hearing was moved to April 24th, so much is being done to get documents together and fulfill the lawyer's various requests. That is, of course, the largest part of the activity right now. Though it's been a bit exhausting to Paul, much "good stuff" has been found and assembled. Hopefully we can share some of that after the initial hearing -- but we don't want to blow anything right now.

Thanks to the news outlets that continue to cover this story. Recently Dvorak at Market Watch wrote an article called "Dull as Dell" which mentioned Dell's very poor customer relations and included Paul's plight.

Though the rate of donating has wanned due to decreased media attention, we hope to raise the last 2,000 Euro of the initial fees before the hearing in late April. We thank you for your help thus far (and Paul has really appreciated the supportive notes you've sent).

What can you do? If you've not donated yet, a small donation would help in raising the initial lawyer fees. If you have, or you can't, contacting Dell to let them know how ridiculous this case is would be awesome. The more they hear from you, their prospective customers, the more likely they are to listen and come to their senses.

Again, a sincere thanks for everything.

What does Dell know (and when did they know it)?

Bill Condie of the London Evening Standard contacted Dell offices in the U.S. and UK while writing his story trying to get Dell's side, but all they'd say was "We don't comment on unsubstantiated rumors." After two days, someone from Dell called him back and gave him the company's official stance: "No comment." Apparently they finally decided it's not just a rumor. We think it would be nice if the legal department communicated with the press and marketing departments. But we obviously don't run the company.

Many people have been writing and asking how they can let Dell know their feelings about this case. Below is some contact information culled from blog comments and direct emails. (According to an ex-Dell employee in a previous comment, the formula for any Dell employee's email is the same as the two shown below - first_last at dell dot com)

Michael Dell
Chairman of the Board
Dell Computers
One Dell Way
Round Rock, TX 78682
email: michael_dell at

Kevin B. Rollins
Dell Computers
One Dell Way
Round Rock, TX 78682
email: kevin_rollins at

01-512-728-7347 - Corporate Communications
01-512-728-4100 - Press office

If you want to send a snail mail letter online, go to EZGram and look for the pre-written letters to Dell. You can change it, customize it, or rewrite it completely. EZGram will print it, put it in an envelope, stamp it and mail it...and it's only $1 USD.

(This has been a public service announcement.)

Thanks to The Register

John Oates of The Register brought Paul's plight to a larger audience by publishing Dell seeks damages from man called Dell this morning. Thanks so much, John! (For those of you that have just found us, remember to start reading this blog from the bottom to get the story in order.)

Paul has taken a photo of the legal papers for those that wanted to see them, but we're verifying from his lawyer today that he can publish them before we actually do it. In the US, it's not a problem as they're public record. We have to be sure French laws are the same. Thanks for being patient just a bit longer.

Some clarifications...

I've noticed some people with concerns and doubts that we thought it might be prudent to address. First, there are many scams on the internet and some fear that this is a scam as well. Since some of you won't have time to sit and read the comments of the original post, I'll give you the names of several of us that are willing to vouch for, and stand behind Paul. We're his personal friends. We're all web developers with our own businesses. Google us to see if we are who we say we are:

Dan Vendel - Proformica - from Sweden
Dan Smith (D-mode) - Smith Media Fusion - from Utah
Stephanie Sullivan - VioletSky Design/W3Conversions/Community MX - from North Carolina
Nadia Perre - PerreLink/Dreamweaver Resources - from Australia
Vicki Berry - DistinctiveWeb/Unheard Word - from Australia
Steve Fleischer - Flying Tiger Web Design - from Hong Kong
Peter Conolly - Acute Computing - from the UK
Bonnie Riley - Attorney/Editor, Continuing Education of the Bar - from California

If you need more, I'm happy to provide them. We all know him personally and talk to him daily. None of us would risk our professional necks on a scam. Period.

Secondly, I thought it good to note that Paul also has another site. He loves photography and has a decent eye and you guessed it, it's Obviously (at least to you and me) there's no correlation between computers and images -- except that images can be displayed on computers just like websites are. But that's Paul's formula -- he uses his last name along with what he does for each business. Call him lackluster and uncreative -- he won't care. Honestly, neither site even remotely resembles a computer sales company -- so the possibility of someone being confused is nill.

Paul sends his heartfelt thanks to those that have helped so far. He's doing his best to keep up with thanking each person personally, but if it takes just a bit, he'll get to you. (He's having internet connection problems currently. :( ) And to those of you with blogs that have picked this up -- thanks SO much for getting the word out. May the little guy win!

Help Paul Dell Beat the Giant

Paul Dell is a great guy. We know because we're his friends. And we wouldn't be friends with a jerk. :) Paul's really going through it right now and maybe you can help. It could be you or I next time unless we put an end to this kind of ridiculous beating up of the small guy without deep pockets.
You can read more history of this fight at the links on the right -- especially Kieran McCarthy's article at the Register from January 2005. Meanwhile, here is an update to that part of the story.
Paul has been summoned to appear before the Tribunal de Grande Instance Paris. Dell Computers is suing him -- not just to get the domain name from him, but also 100,000 Euro in damages to Dell America, 50,000 Euro to Dell France. They have also have ordered him to pay each Dell Company 40,000 Euro as well as 500 Euro for every presence of the word Dell on his site.
Dell claims he has committed acts of parasitism and of unfair competition to the detriment of the American company Dell INC and the French company Dell, and its commercial name: Dellhost as well as its domain names: and I guess Paul is pretty scary to a big company like that. He has such an unfair advantage -- especially in size. ;)
We have encouraged (yes, even begged) Paul to fight. But the legal costs from this initial period alone will cost him more than a new car. We've finally convinced him to accept donations to help cover the fees.
Paul is accepting donations by PayPal. You can go to his donation page for the donation link. These will only be used to fight this huge fight. As a token thanks, he is making available to anyone who makes a donation, his Sunflowers website template. The download link will be included in your thank you note. (Please keep any comments about the case clean. We don't need any more problems from Dell Computers.)
Paul thanks you very much for your support. And as his friends, so do we.