The Notebook Company sells a variety of computers to consumers in South Africa, but Dell apparently isn’t interested in the company using its logo to sell its products.
According to South Africa’s ITweb, “Dell has insisted that all its logos be removed from notebook retailer The Notebook Company's Web sites. The retailer says it seems the situation will head to a trademark dispute between the companies.”
TNC’s Managing Director, Christopher Riley, does not see what the issue is.
“We sell a fairly wide range of products, including Dell. We understand that Dell is a registered trademark – and we do sell Dell,” Riley said, according to ITweb. “We want our customers to find their products, so we advertise their name. It is pretty straightforward. I really don't understand their objection – it is good for their business, too."
The problem, according to the Dell legal department, is that The Notebook Company is not a partner with the company. “One of the advantages of being a registered partner or authorized distributor is that they may be authorized to use the Dell logo, subject to specific terms and conditions,” said Yolanda van Wyk, head of legal for emerging markets at Dell, ITweb reports. “Dell cannot allow the unauthorized and uncontrolled copying and use of its trademarks.
“We have advised TNC that it may use the Dell word trademark in advertising and promotional materials, only to indicate that they are selling our products.”
Another issue is that The Notebook Company registered the domain name delllaptop.co.za. TNC has been told to cancel that domain. At this point, TNC hasn’t complied with any of Dell’s requests. However, TNC has filed a request to be a partner with Dell.
When push comes to shove, though, Riley doesn’t want to spend a lot of dough fighting a big company’s legal department: “I would prefer not to throw a lot of money at keeping their logo on our site(s).”