Seriously--it's now a crime for OLPC to sell or distribute the laptop in Nigeria. You have been warned. Pay $20 million to LANCOR and all will be well. No, this is not a Nigerian scam...or maybe it is. Judge for yourself.
There is an excellent summary of the status of the lawsuit against OLPC on Groklaw. The post includes links to copies of the court documents and a summary of applicable Nigerian law.
Lagos Analysis Corporation, also known as LANCOR, got a Nigerian judge to sign an order in December that stops OLPC from distributing the XO in Nigeria. Violate the order and the consequence is time in a Nigerian jail.
LANCOR claims that OLPC and Nicholas Negroponte stole the design LANCOR patented for their KONYIN Multilingual Keyboard.
OLPC attorneys requested more information about the alleged "infringement of intellectual property rights" but haven't received anything specific from LANCOR other than a demand for $20 million US dollars. Groklaw quotes part of the OLPC attorney's letter in response to LANCOR:
I assume that you are not claiming that LANCOR has a monopoly on the creation of multilingual keyboards. Please specify what aspects of LANCOR's multilingual keyboard design you believe to have been infringed.Groklaw points out that the protection of intellectual property may not be the end goal of the lawsuit. It could just tie up OLPC in a long battle. Others gain monetarily while the children of Nigeria lose.
Finally, although it is premature to engage in discussion of your client's alleged damages, I feel obliged to note that, given the fact that OLPC has to date sold no multilingual keyboards and that, according to LANCOR's website, its multilingual keyboard sells for $19.95, your demand of $20 million is not well founded.
I wonder what the children of Galadima would say if they knew other children in their country won't be having the same chance they have had just because some grownups think money is more important than learning.
This post was submitted by Eden Krehbiel, who reminds you that your French Pootle needs your help.