Emerging Tech

Nigerian firm demands $20 million from OLPC over patent infringement

Lagos Analysis Corporation (Lancor), the firm that brought a patent infringement suit against the OLPC project, has now approached the Nigerian court, claiming $20 million in damages.

Lagos Analysis Corporation (Lancor), the firm that brought a patent infringement suit against the OLPC project, has now approached the Nigerian court, claiming $20 million in damages.

An excerpt from Groklaw:

I kid you not. $20 million in "damages." And an injunction blocking OLPC from distribution in Nigeria. They have the latter at the moment from an interim injunction, as they call it there, from an ex parte motion LANCOR filed, meaning OLPC wasn't there, didn't get a chance to tell its story in court, and based entirely on an attorney affidavit and some papers filed. The interim can last many, many months, and I think that may be the plan. OLPC, as I understand it, hasn't even been served yet.

While the man at the helm of Lancor has been convicted for bank fraud, it's uncertain whether the case will be resolved in favor of OLPC. The patent that's claimed to be infringed involves the Multilingual Keyboard.

Accompanying this is news of the exit of OLPC's CTO, Mary Lou Jepsen.

The injunction places a hold on the sale of OLPC laptops in Nigeria. Gizmodo also refers to an 'Intel' angle to the case.

More information:

Nigerian firm demands $20m from OLPC (Register)

Nigerian firm demands $20 million from One Laptop Per Child (News.com)

28 comments
chumbert
chumbert

I say don't distribute the laptops there. Giving a Nigerian kid a laptop just means that I will get more and more emails in the future saying "I am a bank president and there is an account with $40 million dollars that the owner died, I will give you half the money if you send me your life savings...." Keep the laptops out of those kids hands!!!

Larry the Security Guy
Larry the Security Guy

Just make it illegal to connect to the Internet if you're a resident of any nation that hosts spammers. It would not only eliminate all that "Nigerian" spam you're getting, but it would eliminate all spam completely. There would be no need to hunt down spammers or botnets because the internet simply would not exist for those countries. Wouldn't that be nice?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Then we won't have to listen to those Australians, or Europeans, or Canadians, or anybody in the United St!@#$FD@#$- nhebvrg...nmka-agwwQ#$^..-gd gavagar-

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Slam the litigating company all you like but let's try to keep the racial slander out of the conversation if it's all the same too you. Besides, educating the children and bringing them to the international discussion is more likely to show them that spamming is not acceptable. The criminals are going to continue to spam you regardless of how uneducated and disconnected you want to keep the children.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Nothing he said was racial. There's a difference between one's race and one's nationality, and 'Nigerian' isn't a race. The term 'Nigerian scam' is an accepted name for the type of e-mail chumbert is depicting. CBS had a story about Internet cafes in Nigeria where people "work" every day sending this type of message, ignoring big signs warning of the (unenforced) consequences. You, he, and BrianBonnell are all wrong about one thing. There was an article here several months ago that said the first thing these computers are being used for is surfing for porn.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I think I've read every OLPC article on TR for the last while though may not have always posted.. I usually do.. but not always. George's opinion of the project doesn't seem very high but I think he focuses on the hardware more than the project goals and how well it is suited to those goals. We all do it, we're tech types so we look at the hardware and software first then the application of it. OLPC's original plug "The 100$ Laptop" didn't help them any in that regard either. It gained attention when that was a very good way to turn tech types heads but everyone got hungup on the 100$ bit and forgot the actual purpose of the thing. An OLPC in Canada or the US is mostly a novelty item. An OLPC where it's designed to function is another matter. Even if the hardware proves itself to not be the best aproach, the program has already drawn a lot of attention to places with impovrished education. I really hope the project doesn't get screwed up by it's management. We'll have to wait for more case studies to draw any conclusion but the few distributions they've done so far seem to have gone well.

Absolutely
Absolutely

But, it was intended as a joke: if we measure by volume, it seems like the loudest are the most numerous, though in fact it's just that they [b]never shut up![/b] [i]Either way, my intention was not to slam the American majority for the often heard opinions of the minority. It was simply an example of the same lack of knowledge and understanding expressed by the original thread post demonstrates. assuming all Nigerians are spamming criminals is equally as incorrect as assuming all American's adhere to there stereotype.[/i] Yes, stereotypes tend to have very little basis in reality, but just enough to look plausible to certain people, which never bother to check facts anyway. [i]Either way, this thread is spiralling way off topic and We both seem to share the same opinion of the original post and the OLPC project in general anyhow.[/i] I agree we're way off-topic, but I'm not so sure we're in close agreement on the OLPC project itself. I can't recall whether I've seen you in any of them, but are you familiar with George Ou's pans of the OLPC, and his unfavorable comparison of it to the Asus Eee PC? Basically, I think the OLPC's marketing strategy has been the claim that dropping a [b]product[/b] and (quintessential, psychologically powerful) [b]symbol[/b] of knowledge and technology, will [b]somehow[/b] do something about the root causes of the lack of those things, in regions where they are more widely lacking than other regions. I'm dubious of that approach. I suppose, depending how well-chosen the localized content of the machines, they could be teaching the basics of sanitation, disease-prevention, etc., that would address the causes of the worst maladies in various places. But, what I imagine is more like Speak-&-Spell, translated. [i]Cheers, and have a great Sunday for tomorrow it's back to work.[/i] You too!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'm going to guess there's a joke in there somewhere and I'm just not getting it this morning with my sleep deprived brain. Either way, my intention was not to slam the American majority for the often heard opinions of the minority. It was simply an example of the same lack of knowledge and understanding expressed by the original thread post demonstrates. assuming all Nigerians are spamming criminals is equally as incorrect as assuming all American's adhere to there stereotype. Either way, this thread is spiralling way off topic and We both seem to share the same opinion of the original post and the OLPC project in general anyhow. Cheers, and have a great Sunday for tomorrow it's back to work.

Absolutely
Absolutely

...ignorant, gun nuts who would only end up bombing [b]half of[/b] the rest of the world into the Stone Age if we allowed them to gain any kind of education because the more outspoken minority on Fox News happens to feel that way; the rest of us would calculate half the world's population, and the most efficient means of bombing away their technological advantage over Stone Age men. Shi+, now I'm "gender-biased" or whatever.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Didn't you know that? BTW, that's only a joke, no need to argue the point. If it isn't funny, oops. If it is, kewl. Now, seriously, do you think that dood was really just "trying to stress a point in that Nigeria is not innocent in respect to SPAM and fraud"? If so, why do you believe that interpretation is correct?

Absolutely
Absolutely

Now, let's get back to how idiotic it is to say that 95% of SPAM originates in Nigeria.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

My original post used the racial angle but I was meaning in terms of the nationality as in "they are Nigerian so they *must* be spammers" way. I should have stuck to the nationality as that was my meaning rather than what genetic linieage a Nigerian citizen may come from. The point is the same but I could have chosen words more wisely.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've actually been on your side of the discussion when a fellow from Nigeria came on complaining that "The Nigerian Scam" was offensive. At that time, I explained that it was the name of the type of scam since that is where the email *apears* too originate not because that *is* where 100% of those email originate. In this case, if the original poster seemed to be referencing the name of the scam rather than focusing on the Nigerian people and children specifically then I'd have had no issues. Here's the original post: " I say don't distribute the laptops there. Giving a Nigerian kid a laptop just means that I will get more and more emails in the future saying "I am a bank president and there is an account with $40 million dollars that the owner died, I will give you half the money if you send me your life savings...." Keep the laptops out of those kids hands!!! " The poster wants OLPC to *not* be distributed in Nigeria. He jumps to the conclusion that educating the children is only and inevitably going to result in more spam. Spam in general not eve The Nigerian Scam specifically. He ends by advocating that OLPC be kept out of the hands of the children. This boils down to "keep the kids ignorant and poverty stricken because all Nigerians are spammers and the only possible outcome is that more spam ends up in my inbox." Admittedly, I did make the error of saying "racial" rather than "nationality" when I meant the later. Don't get me wrong, like virus writters, spammers should have there fingers smashed using the keyboard that the abuse smtp through. I also think the company launching this suite is absolute scum; the boss's record of fraud is just another nail in the box they should be barried in. I just can't advocate keeping a nation's next generation barred from OLPC and purposefully un-educated. That's what oppresive governments do, not people who have an honest interest in making things better. Too me, that's like saying *all* American's are ignorant, gun nuts who would only end up bombing the rest of the world into the stone age if we allowed them to gain any kind of education because the more outspoken minority on Fox News happens to feel that way. Ironically, it's education and understanding of other nations that would help that ignorant minority just like it's education and understanding that will help the Nigerian children.

ManiacMan
ManiacMan

Perhaps he was simply trying to stress a point in that Nigeria is not innocent in respect to SPAM and fraud.

ManiacMan
ManiacMan

Stop turning this into a liberal whiner bleeding heart discussion where anyone you disagree with is called a racist. There is nothing "racist" or "prejudice" about stating the truth that Nigeria is the capital of fraud when it comes to phony passports, SPAM, and identity theft. I'm sorry if Nigeria consists of black people, but it's not my fault they are black and it doesn't make me a racist to point out how corrupt and shady their country and gov't is.

Absolutely
Absolutely

Double the production of OLPC's. What do you mean, that wasn't your point?

ManiacMan
ManiacMan

you guys ever though of that?

Absolutely
Absolutely

I did say it's ignorant. Ignorant generalizations about foreign countries are not *necessarily* based in racism, but that was a more understandable error than the 95% from Nigeria SPAM statistic, by far if you glance at the graph.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

jbodar, thanks for finding that for me. I actually had to do some work this afternoon. Abs, regarding chumbert making exceptionally ignorant statements, the one I question is his first sentence, "...don't distribute the laptops there." I don't find potential misuse, even by the majority, to be a reason to halt distribution. The novelty will wear off and they might actually use the system for something educational. As regards your linked "spam source" graphic: Nigeria, West Virginia; what's the difference? :D

Absolutely
Absolutely

[i]You, he, and BrianBonnell are all wrong about one thing. There was an article here several months ago that said the first thing these computers are being used for is surfing for porn.[/i] I won't try to convince you that those comments were overtly racist. However, you will agree that what chumbert said was exceptionally ignorant: http://postini.com/stats/world-spam-2048.jpg chumbert: [i]Giving a Nigerian kid a laptop just means that I will get more and more emails in the future saying "I am a bank president and there is an account with $40 million dollars that the owner died, I will give you half the money if you send me your life savings...."[/i] What a tool.

BBPellet
BBPellet

If we give them the laptops, I am willing to bet 99% will become spam servers! As it stands almost 95% of the spam comes from that area of the world! They have no laws to stop it and have no plans to implemement them either. We are just adding to the problem with giving them laptops!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Hence, the security involved with the mesh networking setup.

Absolutely
Absolutely

the entire world. http://postini.com/stats/world-spam-2048.jpg You don't check the originating IP of the SPAM you receive, do you? You just assume that SPAMmers are telling the truth about being Nigerian, and that [u]only[/u] the sum of money is a fabrication, don't you?

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

Oh well, give them their 20 million! Easy come easy go, right? Perhaps we should give it them under the condition that they stop spamming us with "those" special email bank account request funds, huh? Yeah, that'll definitely work. And; oh yeah, some lower rates on fossil fuels. I like fossil fuel and so does my car.

ezumba
ezumba

adambrown29, pls. contribute to the discussion and stop being typically stereotypical. There is probably an Intel angle to this as Gizmodo suggests... or Microsoft?

Editor's Picks