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Courts halt XO sale in Nigeria

By Stuart Turton

Posted on 2 Jan 2008 at 12:09

A Nigerian keyboard manufacturer has obtained an injunction against the OLPC Foundation, preventing the charity from selling its XO laptop in Nigeria.

Lancor, which is headed by a convicted fraudster, has begun proceedings against the charity in a Nigerian court, and is demanding $20 million in damages.

Lancor wrote to OLPC in August claiming that its patents regarding keyboard designs had been violated by the XO and subsequently demanded $20 million to keep it out of the courts.

OLPC declined and requested further details, which according to an article in Groklaw, were never provided.

Instead Lancor filed its suit with a Nigerian court, without notifying OLPC which was not given the chance to present evidence or defend itself against the injunction.

One of the more unusual aspects of the case is Lancor's claim that OLPC's actions had cost it $20 million in lost profits. However, as OLPC noted in its response, the XO had not been released when Lancor made its initial claim and could not have made $20 million.

The charity says it intends to fight the charges.

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