OLPC sued over patent infringement

Lagos Analysis Corporation, a United States-based Nigerian-owned company with a subsidiary called LANCOR Management Limited, in Nigeria (LANCOR) have annoucned that they are filing a patent infringement lawsuit in the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division holding at Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria against Nicholas Negroponte, One Laptop Per Child Association (OLPC) and its enablers in Nigeria.

In what is one of the most curious twists in the OLPC adventure, the patent infringement lawsuit was filed on November 22nd, 2007 as a result of OLPC's alleged 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.

The lawsuit could not come at a worse time, just as the OLPC has to battle against Nigerian bureaucracy, the frustration of partners and the sudden interest that Microsoft and Intel have had in delivering cheap laptops to third world countries.

Nigeria is one of the third world countries to which the not-for-profit OLPC foundation is trying to sell its laptops.