Taiwan company sues Apple over lost sales

Luxpro is suing Apple for $100 million [m] after a court ruled it could continue producing a portable music player resembling Apple's iPod Shuffle player.

A Taiwanese manufacturer is suing Apple Computer for US$100 million after a court ruled it could continue producing a portable music player resembling Apple's iPod Shuffle.

Apple sought in July 2005 to stop Luxpro from making its line of Tangent music players, alleging that they too closely resembled the Shuffle. A Taiwan court agreed, but the decision was reversed on appeal.

After the latest ruling, from the Shihlin District Court in Taipei, Luxpro is claiming victory. The company wants compensation for losses it says it incurred when its products were under injunction.

"The motion issued earlier caused Luxpro to lose valuable market opportunities and a considerable amount of orders," Luxpro said on its Web site.

Apple couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The close resemblance of the Tangent to Apple's Shuffle turned more than a few heads at the 2005 Cebit electronics show in Germany where they were introduced.

Luxpro says its products are different because they have a tri-color OLED (organic light emitting diode) monitor and carry its brand name.

The front of the player looks very similar to the Shuffle, however, and they are nearly identical in size.

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Jeremy Kirk

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