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Nigerian firm demands $20m from OLPC

Non-profit org slapped with infringement suit

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Lagos Analysis Corporation (Lancor) is continuing its legal attack against the One Laptop Per Child foundation. Lancor is demanding $20m in damages against OLPC through the Nigerian court and has obtained a temporary injunction banning the non-profit from selling its XO laptops in the country.

The Nigerian-owned, Massachusetts-based firm says its flagship multilingual keyboard was illegally reverse-engineered by OLPC.

Lancor's legal filings claim evidence of infringement was discovered on a public issue tracking service used by OLPC developers. The company does not specify the offending ticket — although an addition one year ago cites "Shina" from Leapsoft Technology, a Nigerian software vendor, as supplying OLPC with a keymap for Nigerian languages. Leapsoft, along with the companies Growing Business Foundation and Alteq, were also recipients of Lancor's original cease and desist complaint.

Court documents obtained by Groklaw indicate Lancor filed a Motion of Notice in the federal high court in Lagos, seeking an injunction until a hearing is established. OLPC didn't show up at court, and the block was granted.

Lancor said it will pursue similar lawsuits in other countries where XO laptops are being sold. Currently no other complaints have been filed.

According to The Boston Globe, the founder of Lancor, Ade Oyegbola was convicted of bank fraud in Boston in 1990 and served a year in prison.

This week, OLPC lost its chief technology officer, Mary Lou Jepson, who quit the organization to start a company which will commercialize technology she invented while working at OLPC. Jepson designed the display technology for the low-cost laptop. ®

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