Times Staff and Wire Reports

Packard Bell Files Compaq Countersuit: Packard Bell Electronics Inc., in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, accuses Compaq Computer Corp. of unfair competition, defamation and false advertising, saying it falsely described both firms' policies, including those regarding returned computers. Sacramento-based Packard Bell is seeking a court order requiring Houston-based Compaq to run corrective advertising, among other remedies. The suit is in response to a federal suit Compaq filed in Delaware in April against Packard Bell, accusing the company of using parts from returned computers in machines sold as new. Packard Bell denied the charge. That suit is pending. Consumers filed several class-action suits against Packard Bell after Compaq filed its suit. In response to the class actions, Packard Bell agreed in Los Angeles County Superior Court to set up a $1-million fund and to extend repair contracts to settle allegations it had deceptively sold new computers with used parts. The firm admitted no wrongdoing.

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