Dell faces Dutch PC maker Monday at start of jury trial

Lawyers for Dell Computer are due to appear in court Monday for the start of a jury trial in which Dell is accused of selling PCs that infringe on technology patents owned by Dutch company Tulip Computers International BV.

Tulip, based in Amersfoot, the Netherlands, filed suit against Dell in November 2000, accusing the Round Rock, Texas, company of copying a patented motherboard design and using it in Optiplex desktop PCs sold after 1997. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

Tulip said at the time that the infringement covered about US$17 billion of Dell's sales over a three-year period up to the time the lawsuit was filed. The Dutch computer maker hasn't said how much it wants from Dell in royalties and damages, but has said that license fees for the type of patent in question generally amount to between 1 percent and 5 percent of the revenue they generate.

Dell denies any wrongdoing and has argued that the patent in question, U.S. Patent No. 5,594,621, is invalid and unenforceable. Its efforts to prevent the case from going to trial have been unsuccessful, however.

Tulip has declined to discuss specifics of the case publicly, although a Tulip spokeswoman confirmed that the trial was due to begin on schedule Monday. In February Tulip said the trial was expected to last for nine days.

Tulip's patent describes a PC motherboard that works with both 16-bit and 32-bit peripherals, making it useful at a time when the industry was shifting between the two standards. The expansion card slot on the motherboard was designed to improve cooling and to help PC makers build smaller desktop computers, court filings show.

The judge originally assigned to the case, Roderick R. McKelvie, resigned from the court last June, according to information on the court Web site. The case was reassigned to Judge Kent A. Jordan.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?