Tulip wins access to Dell exec emails

Patent suit development

Dell has been ordered by a US federal court to hand over the email records of 14 execs, after it was accused of failing to co-operate in a patent infringement case.

The flea on Dell's back is Dutch-owned Tulip Computers, once a multinational PC player - tiny subsidiaries in a couple of dozen countries - now much smaller.

In November 2000 Tulip filed a patent infringement suit against Dell. It reckons the Texas PC giant copied its patented technology for motherboards. This patent is for a "Motherboard for a computer of the AT type, and a computer of the AT type comprising such motherboard" three years ago. Tulip wants damages based on Dell's sales of PCs - an estimated $17bn when the suit was filed - using this technology.

A database consultant in the hire of Tulip will pore over the Dell exec email records - which do not include those of Michael Dell. The court told Tulip that itwould have to present more evidence if it was to get its mitts on his archives, reports