View Full Version : Luxpro Levels $100M Suit Against Apple

6th January 2007, 03:49
Luxpro Levels $100M Suit Against Apple (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20070105/tc_nf/49143)
Tim Gray, newsfactor.com (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/nf/tc_nf/byline/49143/21479546/SIG=10r33ca9a/*http://www.newsfactor.com)

Taiwanese manufacturer Luxpro is suing Apple for $100 million after a court ruled it could continue producing an MP3 music player that bears a close resemblance to Apple's iPod Shuffle.

The electronics company first made waves back in March 2005 when it unveiled its first-generation iPod Shuffle clone at the CeBIT electronics show in Germany. However, Apple cried foul when executives spotted Luxpro's Tangent music players, claiming they too closely resembled the Shuffle.

In July 2005, a court in Taipei granted Apple an injunction against Luxpro that forced the company to stop manufacturing its Tangent MP3 players. But this week, an appeals court reversed that decision and now Luxpro wants compensation for losses it says it incurred when its production was halted.

"The motion issued earlier caused Luxpro to lose valuable market opportunities and a considerable amount of orders," Luxpro said in a statement posted on its Web site.

Veiled Threats?

In its counter-suit, Luxpro claims Apple threatened retaliation against stores that carried the Tangent line. Those threats, according to Luxpro, included the removal of iPod products from any store that did not take Luxpro's player off the shelves.

Luxpro maintains that its MP3 players are significantly different from the Shuffle. The company says its Luxpro logo is clearly displayed on the player and an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display differentiates if from the Shuffle, which doesn't have a display.

The $100 million compensation suit seeks damages from Apple's "continued and illegitimate provisional disposition motion" that prevented the sale of Luxpro products over the past 18 months, according to the Financial Times.

Sour Notes

Although Apple enjoyed one of its best years on record for 2006, the computer and electronics maker started 2007 on rocky legal grounds. Aside from the Luxpro case, there have been several lawsuits filed against the company in the new year.

According to news reports, one case, filed on July 21, takes issue with Apple's use of a copy-protection system that prevents iTunes music and video from easily being transferred to non-iPod media players.

The suit claims that Apple has created an illegal monopoly by tightly linking the iTunes store to the iPod. It also claims iPods do not easily play songs purchased from music stores other than iTunes. On December 20, a judge denied Apple's request to dismiss the case, according to an Associated Press report.

Additionally, PhatRat, a technology firm focusing on sports performance, is claiming the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, developed jointly by Apple and Nike to allow athletes to keep track of distance and speed, was ripped off from its own speedRat product.

Apple was not immediately available to comment for this article.