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Dell, Inc. v. Ibrahim

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division

August 15, 2019

DELL, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
SYED IBRAHIM, DELTRA SOFT TECHNOLOGIES PVT. LTD., and DELTRA TECHNOLOGIES LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER

          SAM SPARKS, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         BE IT REMEMBERED on this day the Court considered the file in the above-styled cause, and specifically Plaintiff Dell, Inc. (Dell's) Motion for Default Judgment and Permanent Injunction [#63] and Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs [#65].[1]Having reviewed Dell's motions, the relevant law, and the file as a whole, the Court now enters the following opinion and orders.

         Background

         Defendants Syed Ibrahim, Deltra Soft Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Deltra Soft), and Deltra Technologies LLC (Deltra Tech) (collectively, the "Defaulted Defendants") perpetuated a fraud whereby individuals unaffiliated with Dell contacted Dell customers, pretended they worked for Dell, and then used their fictitious affiliation with Dell to sell software and computer support services under the Dell name. Am. Compl. [#27] at 1-2.

         In May 2016, Dell filed this lawsuit seeking an injunction as well as damages, attorney's fees, and costs. Compl. [#1] at 16-19. Dell later served Deltra Tech through one of its managing members, Basit Khan, and received permission to serve Ibrahim and Deltra Soft-both located in India-through alternative means including email. Order of Sept. 26, 2017 [#38]. After Dell effected service, the Default Defendants failed to plead, respond, or otherwise defend in this action, and the clerk entered defaults against the Defaulted Defendants. Defaults [#44, #56].

         Dell now moves the Court to enter a default judgment against the Defaulted Defendants and to enter an injunction prohibiting the Defaulted Defendants from engaging in various activities likely to dilute Dell's trademarks or result in confusion as to the affiliation of the Defaulted Defendants and related third parties with Dell. Mot. Default [#63] at 4-6. Dell also moves for attorney's fees and costs. Mot. Atty's Fees [#65]. These pending motions are ripe for review.

         Analysis

         I. Motion for Entry of Default Judgment

         A. Legal Standard

         After default has been entered against a defendant for failure to plead or otherwise respond to the complaint, a plaintiff may apply for a judgment based on that default. New York Ins. Co. v. Brown, 84 F.3d 137, 141 (5th Cir. 1996); see also FED. R. Civ. P. 55. Under 50 U.S.C. § 3931(b)(1), the plaintiff must file an affidavit stating whether or not the defendant is in military service, and under Rule 55(b) a default should not be entered against an unrepresented minor or incompetent person. See Center Capital Corp. v. M.B. Bender Co., No. A-09-CV-469-SS, 2009 WL 3834335, at *1 (W.D. Tex. Nov. 13, 2009). A defendant who defaults for failing to plead or otherwise defend admits all the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint. Wooten v. McDonald Transit Assocs., 788 F.3d 490, 496 (5th Cir. 2015). Rule 54(c) limits the type and amount of relief granted on a default judgment to what is demanded in the pleadings. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(c).

         B. Application

         Dell seeks a default judgment on four of the six claims brought against the Defaulted Defendants.[2] Mot. Default [#63] at 1. The Court examines each claim in turn to determine whether Dell has put forward sufficient well-pleaded factual allegations to support entry of judgment against the Defaulted Defendants. It then considers whether Dell has fulfilled the other miscellaneous predicates to entering a default judgment.

         1. Trademark Infringement

         Under 15 U.S.C. § 1114, any person that uses a registered mark without the permission of the registrant and in connection with the sale or offering of any goods or services is liable for trademark infringement if the use ...


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