Always nice to see two unrelated topics that we discuss on Techdirt come together in a single story. A bunch of folks have been sending in the news that the One Laptop Per Child program has been hit with a patent infringement suit in Nigeria. The company claims that the OLPC folks "reverse engineered" its four shift keys on a keyboard, in order to better handle multiple languages. While we think the OLPC project has all sorts of problems, that doesn't mean we think highly of using the patent system to shut down a project that clearly was intended for the greater good, rather than for profit. It will be interesting to see the details of the case as they come out. By claiming that OLPC "reverse engineered" their product (and, honestly, do you really need to "reverse engineer" four shift keys?), it sounds like they're accusing the organization of willful infringement, which could be a lot costlier. Either way, nice to know that the fascination over patent litigation isn't avoiding charitable ventures either.
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