Dell and The Notebook Company heading for trademark dispute?

In a press release issued on Sunday (12 June 2011), notebook and accessories retailer The Notebook Company (TNC) stated that Dell has insisted that its logos be removed from TNC’s signage and websites.

Managing director of The Notebook Company, Christopher Riley, expressed confusion at Dell’s demands, asking how Dell wants customers to find their products if their logo can’t be displayed.

The Notebook Company said that they had not yet removed the Dell name or logo from any of its websites or signage at its offices in Pretoria when they issued the press release.

At the time of publication, Dell South Africa said that they are investigating the claims at this stage.

The full press release from The Notebook Company is below.

The Notebook Company (www.notebook.co.za), a leading notebook and accessories retailer, and computer company, Dell, seem to be heading for a trademark dispute as Dell insists that all its logos must be removed from any signage displayed by The Notebook Company, including from its two web-sites.

Christopher Riley, MD of The Notebook Company, said he finds Dell’s objection “strange at best”. “We sell a fairly wide range of products, including Dell. We understand that Dell is a registered trademark – and we do sell Dell. 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.”

He said Dell wants its name taken down from its www.notebook.co.za and www.laptop.co.za web-sites, as well as from all signage at its head office in Hatfield, Pretoria.

“This hasn’t happened to us before. We display a lot of product names on our web-site, not just Dell’s. My question is – are they a direct computer seller or not? And why this big hullabaloo about using their logo? How do they want customers to find their products?”

At the time of going to press, The Notebook Company had not yet removed the Dell name or logo from any of its web-sites, or from signage at its offices in Pretoria.

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Dell and The Notebook Company heading for trademark dispute?