Adding insult to injury: One Laptop Per Child sued for patent infringement

LANCOR wants to sue organizations with no money to pay them. Smart.

It's unclear where Lagos Analysis Corp. (LANCOR) expects the One Laptop Per Child project to come up with the money, but it has sued OLPC, anyway, for patent infringement. To make matters more complicated, the suit was brought in the Nigerian-owned company's backyard in Lagos, Nigeria. I'm sure the court will have no bias whatsoever....

LANCOR is seeking big money damages because, um, it has lost millions selling $100 PCs to developing nations (???):

The patent infringement lawsuit was filed on November 22nd, 2007 as a result of OLPC's [alleged] willful infringement of LANCOR's Nigeria Registered Design Patent # RD8489 and illegal reverse engineering of its keyboard driver source codes for use in the XO Laptops.

LANCOR is seeking substantial damages as well as a permanent injunction to prevent OLPC from continuing to unlawfully manufacture, sell, distribute or offer for sale the XO Laptop, and any other products infringing on the RD8489 and using the illegally acquired keyboard driver source codes.

Given that OLPC has struggled to come up with the money to manufacture its laptops in high volumes, this seems like the poor robbing the also-poor. Note to LANCOR: OLPC doesn't have any money. You'd do better to sue Intel or Microsoft for their efforts to help children in developing markets.

LANCOR makes SCO look like Santa Claus.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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