Luxpro to countersue Apple for $100m

Luxpro, a Taiwanese electronics company that won a lawsuit filed against it by Apple over an imitation of the iPod shuffle, intends to countersue Apple for $100m in damages.

“We plan to sue Apple in a Taiwanese court before the end of the month and demand $100m in compensation for the revenues we have lost due to their abuse of their global power,” Wu Fu-chin, Luxpro chairman, told the Financial Times.

In March 2005, Luxpro created a stir at the CeBIT technology show in Germany when it presented an MP3 player that looked similar to the iPod Shuffle. The product had almost the same measurements and weight, came in a white plastic casing and had similar buttons on the front. Its name, Super Shuffle, also closely resembled the original.

When the company started selling the player, it changed its name to Super Tangent and added a Luxpro logo to the front. However, in spite of the name change, in July 2005 Apple asked the Shihlin District Court in Taipei for an injunction that would ban Luxpro from manufacturing or selling the product. The injunction was granted a month later.

Luxpro appealed and won subsequent lawsuits in the Taiwan High Court and the Taiwan Supreme Court. Last month, the Shihlin District Court lifted the original injunction, saying that “the appearances of the two products are significantly dissimilar”.

Luxpro estimates that it has lost revenues of about $100m because of the temporary ban on manufacturing and selling the Tangent.

On Thursday, Apple in Taiwan could not be reached for comment.

Mr Wu said that Luxpro was now in talks with retailers over resuming sales of its products. “So far, we are selling in Latin America and eastern Europe.

“Recently, we have started selling again in Japan and Thailand,” he said, adding that Luxpro also aimed to have the Tangent return to the US and European markets.

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