A Nigerian company sued the One Laptop Per Child (OPLC) association for violating its patents on a multilingual keyboard.
Lagos Analysis Corp. (Lancor) filled the suit in the Federal High Court in Lagos alleging that OPLC stole its designs for a multilingual keyboard which has four shift-keys.
OLPC illegally reverse-engineered the company's patented keyboard which with its four-shift keys, allows computers to better handle multiple languages, said Ade Oyegbola, Lancor's CEO.
Lancor wants the Nigerian court to award substantial damages and issue a permanent injunction to prevent OLPC from manufacturing and selling its XO laptop, he added.
In response to the suit filed, OLPC denied the allegations of the suit saying that it had not seen any legal fillings in the case.
OLPC has the utmost respect for the rights of intellectual property owners, said Robert Fadel, OLPC director of finance and operations. To OLPC's knowledge, all the intellectual property used in the XO Laptop is either owned by OLPC or properly licensed. Until we have a copy of the claim and have had time to review it, we will not be commenting further on the matter.
Lancor developed Shift2 technology which is used to make Multilingual Keyboards like accent, tildes, umlauts and other symbols for different languages in Nigeria.
Despite the allegations of patent infringement, Lacor admitted that OLPC purchased two multilingual keyboards, alleging that it later used them to reverse-engineer the source codes for use in OLPC's XO laptops.
OLPC is a nonprofit organization founded by Nicholas Negroponte of Massachusetts with the goal of donating laptops to children in developing nations.
Its supported by the U.S. and Canada residents who donate $400 and get one laptop for themselves while at the same time sending a second laptop to a child in developing nations like Africa nations.