Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Patents Government The Courts News Your Rights Online

OLPC Lawsuit-Bringer Has Past Fraud Conviction 87

Posted by Zonk
from the dodgy-suit-need-to-buy-a-better-one dept.
d0ida writes "The Boston Globe has up an article about LANCOR's lawsuit over the design of the OLPC's keyboard. 'Negroponte said the lawsuit is without merit, because OLPC uses a keyboard programming technique developed in 1996, long before the Nigerian patent was filed. The founder of Lagos Analysis Corp., Ade Oyegbola, was convicted of bank fraud in Boston in 1990 and served a year in prison. Oyegbola insists his Nigerian patent is legitimate and said he plans to file a copyright-infringement lawsuit against OLPC in an American court.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

OLPC Lawsuit-Bringer Has Past Fraud Conviction

Comments Filter:
  • PJ, release the hounds!
  • by KillerCow (213458) on Monday December 03, 2007 @01:21AM (#21557633)
    The link to "uses a keyboard programming technique developed in 1996" links to the TFA, which says no more about it than the link text. If you're going to title a link as that, then it should lead to the technique in question...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      FYI, that's what we call a citation.
  • Of course! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 03, 2007 @01:22AM (#21557635)
    If someone is violating your PATENT, the first thing you should do is file a COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT lawsuit! Makes perfect sense!
    • THE DESK OF THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR
      CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA.
      PROF.CHARLES SOLUDO

      ATTN: LEV,

      YOUR IMMEDIATE CONTRACT PAYMENT #:MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/009

      From the records of outstanding contractors due for payment with the Federal government of Nigeria your name and company was discovered as next on The list of the outstanding contractors who have not received their payments.

      I wish to inform you that your payment is being processed an
      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by pipatron (966506)
        Hmmm, this was new to me! Did you write it yourself? Never got any of those! I always get the dead businessman/former(president|king)/husband thing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by arivanov (12034)
          Nope, it is an original.

          I keep a stock of those for AntiSPAM testing and this one ended up being on the top of the folder. It is a fairly unusual sample which I have kept for testing since 2001.

          Want me to sell it to you? Bargain basement price with the headers and mail system logs? Unique example of early 21st century Nigerian literature. Good bargain all around :-)
      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by Rick17JJ (744063)

        I receive quite a few Nigerian email messages every month, I must be on their mailing list. There is actually an online Museum of Nigerian Scam Letters with almost 5,000 examples. Perhaps I should submit a few more examples to their museum. The website classifies those as an "advance fee fraud."

        Nigeriam 4-1-9 Scam Lettery Exhibit [quatloos.com]

    • by Bodrius (191265)
      This should be funny enough without distorting the facts.

      It seems you are establishing an undue connection between two separate statements.
      From the linked articles, this is the sequence of events as I understand them:

      1) LANCOR files a patent infringement suit against OLPC in NIGERIA.
      2) Negroponte claims the lawsuit is without merit.
      3) LANCOR (obviously) responds it is valid and all your base are belong to us, AND
      4) They plan to file a SEPARATE copyright infrimengement lawsuit in a U.S. court.

      Presumably, tha
      • Re:Of course! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rocketship Underpant (804162) on Monday December 03, 2007 @02:55AM (#21558023)
        It still makes absolutely no sense. The OLPC is not a song or book or creative work of any type, so I fail to see how copyright can possibly be applicable.

        Besides, the wording of the article links the patent claim to the supposed copyright-infringement suit. As the grandparent poster points out, this makes no sense.

        • Oyegbola Lawyer: Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, OLPC's attorney would certainly want you to believe that his work is based on something developed over ten years ago. And they make a good case. Hell, I almost felt pity myself! But, ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

          O
        • by tepples (727027)

          The OLPC is not a song or book or creative work of any type
          Unless the "Sugar" operating system is a computer program, the keyboard firmware is a computer program, and computer programs are literary works.
          • by hedwards (940851)
            Right, but in that case they would have to prove that they owned the code for the firmware and that it was used without appropriate permission. I don't think that they could prove that.
          • I don't think anyone's arguing that software was copied.

            • by Bodrius (191265)
              Huh?

              If they're planning to file a copyright infringement lawsuit then, by definition, they (LANCOR) are literally arguing that software was copied.

              • by idontgno (624372)

                If they're planning to file a copyright infringement lawsuit then, by definition, they (LANCOR) are literally arguing that software was copied.

                Naaah. They don't realize it, but what LANCOR is actually literally arguing is that they don't know the difference between copyright and patent.

                Next up, LANCOR cites unspecified "intellectual property" which isn't necessarily patent, copyright, or trademark but WHATEVER IT IS OLPC INFRINGED IT OMG!!!!!111one

                See also SCO v. IBM [wikipedia.org]

        • Makes perfect sense to me. This is nothing more than another greedy Nigerian scammer out to make a quick buck. Just as I thought it would be. He targeted the OLPC because its a charity without deep pockets. I thinking that he was hopeing that OLPC would cave and be willing to pay the "small" licensing fee without checking up on his patent.

          What he wasn't counting on was a 100 billion geeks that where much smarter than him checking his shit for free. Nigerians are not known for their deep thoughs and s

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jrumney (197329)
        There are circumstances where a design which may qualify for patent protection in another country qualifies only for copyright protection in the US. See Wikipedia:Industrial design rights [wikipedia.org].
        • by Tacvek (948259)
          Further, it seems that design patents may be referred to in some cases as copyrights in Nigeria. The very first page of the patent document talks about "copyright expiration", not "patent expiration". It may be that things eligible for design patents in Nigeria are NOT eligible for standard copyrights, so thus the term copyright was overloaded to include design patents as well. Or it may just be a case of Nigerian law being a bit loose with terminology.
    • Yeah, and then he can file a motion to get his case thrown out of court.

      It's guys like these who critically obfuscate intellectual property law, and end up giving it a bad name.
    • The copyright infringement lawsuit worked out okay for SCO didn't it? Oh wait...
  • Same difference...I'm sure an American court won't get hung-up on the semantics.
  • "Negroponte said.."

    "Oyegbola said.."

    Where's the hard news, here? This just has a tattle-tale, tabloid feel to it. Who greenlit the story?

    • google the story, there are tons of tech sites reporting on it, slashdot's just one of the later incarnations of it.

      Who greenlit the story?
      apparently enough slashdotters to get it off the firehose and on to the front page I suppose. which reminds me, a lot of those tech stories about this are a week old- why did this need to get on slashdot when it has already been beaten to death elsewhere?
  • by randomiam (514027) on Monday December 03, 2007 @01:47AM (#21557763) Homepage

    I get that a US patent can be litigated in any district the alleged infringer trades in (thus the reason for the eastern district of Texas). But a patent from Nigeria? Shouldn't this be tried, um, in Nigeria or the WTC?

    Nigeria Registered Design Patent # RD8489

    Design patents are dumb. If you're gonna run a scam, why not go whole hog and assert a utility patent?

    Also, Nigeria has a Patent Office? (I can see it now: "A method and device to facilitate the international transfer of funds from internet enabled persons")

    ria
    • by RuBLed (995686) on Monday December 03, 2007 @01:56AM (#21557787)

      Also, Nigeria has a Patent Office? (I can see it now: "A method and device to facilitate the international transfer of funds from internet enabled persons")

      Wow, with that patent, they could sue RIAA while they're at it...

      (although I could still be dreaming, did I wake up this morning?)
      • Yes (Score:3, Funny)

        by Chrisq (894406)
        Also, Nigeria has a Patent Office? In fact I got an email from them asking me for bank details so they could transfer $7,000,000 in unclaimed royalties. Ooops... I wasn't supposed to tell anyone.
    • If he was smart, he would try it in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, China, or Pakastan.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ajs318 (655362)
      If you want to patent something illegal, it's always best actually to patent having the illegal thing done to you, so the victim (rather than the perpetrator) is liable for royalties. For example, "method for avoiding potentially-fatal wounding and equitably distributing wealth by giving or loaning a mobile telephone and a debit card, and disclosing the Personal Identification Number associated with the latter" rather than "Method for carrying out PINpoint robbery". After all, villains usually get away
  • Well, that explains why I never got my 47 million dollars. I guess he was trying to put it in the wrong bank.....I don't live anywhere near Boston. I was quite specific when I returned his email.
    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by Rick17JJ (744063)

      I get one of those Nigerian email messages every few days, I must be on their mailing lists. Typically, some dead person has abandoned millions of dollars in some bank in Nigeria and they want me to open an account, in my name in this country, for them to transfer the millions of dollars into. I would get to keep a certain percentage of the money for helping them with their abandoned money problem.

      About half of those messages that I receive say they are from Nigeria. A few years ago, I read a Readers D

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Monday December 03, 2007 @01:59AM (#21557799)
    Oyegbola insists his Nigerian patent is legitimate and said he plans to file a copyright-infringement lawsuit against OLPC in an American court.

    Unfortunately, the bank has temporarily frozen his bank accounts, but if someone could send him $5000 to cover the fees and fines...

    [I couldn't resist.]

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Monday December 03, 2007 @02:04AM (#21557819)

    What most people seem to forget about, we're here talking about a design patent. Now IANAL, however I have learned a little (really a little) about patents.

    There are a few issues here, that do not make sense. This is about a Nigerian patent, and patents are regional. A Nigerian patent is not valid in the US and the other way around. Within each country one has to apply for a separate patent. I wonder how they think they can sue over a Nigerian patent in a US court. They should sue in a Nigerian court instead.

    Furthermore as it is a Nigerian patent, it will not influence the alleged patented product sold outside of Nigeria. Again, US courts do not come into the picture.

    And then it is a design patent. This is not an invention as such, and quite close to copyright. I have to say I forgot how a design patent works exactly, but if it looks different, even though it works following the same technical principle, then it is no problem. Machines are typical objects that are patented for design.

    This whole story sounds like a big mess of FUD to me, from someone who has done presumably great work to develop some input method for the Nigerian language, and now tries to cash in on that via dubious methods. I really hope the OLPC team is not held up too much by this, and that if there is a court case filed, that the courts simply do not accept it.

    • by gilesjuk (604902)
      I can see their plan, prevent OLPC sales in Nigeria. Then produce a clone of it to sell there, the OS is open source so will be available.

      I personally would say "sod you all" and not sell it in Nigeria. I'm sure the political pressure on the company suing would soon lead them to cave in.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rick17JJ (744063)

      A Groklaw article also says that it is just a design patent, which registers how it looks, not how it works. She says that "it turns out it's not a patent in the usual sense. It's a design registration." Her article, also says that the copyright on the design appears to have expired. Here is the link:

      The Nigerian OLPC Dispute - How Does It Look [groklaw.net]

  • Well fuck why didn't he say so sooner!? I'll file it on his behalf for a small upfront fee....
  • "Oyegbola insists his Nigerian patent is legitimate and said he plans to file a copyright-infringement lawsuit against OLPC in an American court."

    I hope he does too. If he can't tell the difference between a patent and copyright he needs to have his time and money wasted by coming over here and getting his case thrown out for being too stupid.
  • by Derivin (635919) on Monday December 03, 2007 @02:41AM (#21557949)
    http://radian.org/notebook/first-deployment [radian.org]
    Ivan Krstic just posed from Uruguay, where the the first production deployment of the XO just happened. This is what the Globe should be reporting on, not a frivolous lawsuit!

    I find it interesting that this lawsuit is happening just before the first production launch and as Peru signs a deal for 260K machines! To bad that is not being picked up by major media.
  • by Comatose51 (687974) on Monday December 03, 2007 @02:47AM (#21557985) Homepage
    Sure he can sue OLPC in an American court but we should require a large sum of good faith money first sent via Western Union. And if he wins, OLPC should pay him some insane amount above the judgment using a check and ask for the difference back in cash or via Western Union.
  • I know Nigeria has tons of really smart people but is it something about their government or educational system that warps them? Or is it prejudicial media that gives special attention to anything with the word Nigeria in it? I can't figure it. It's as if Microsoft (insert other evil corporate America name here here) and organized crime are the two organizations that have an insane ratio of dibs on Nigerian brain cells. I know there are real smart Nigerians because I've met them, but for some reason we keep
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Chrisq (894406)
      I know Nigeria has tons of really smart people

      I am not sure that James D Watson would agree with that [wikipedia.org]
      • by mattr (78516)
        WHAT!?!?!?

        Why the hell are bringing some racist into the story? Maybe he was smart enough to discover the helix once upon a time but I don't listen to that kind of crap anymore, sorry.

        I think actually the Nigerians probably are more advanced because the scam mentality is very familiar from say growing up in New Jersey I mean the saying "That's such a scam" etc. is totally American. Maybe human even. Possibly people in other countries are less exposed to the net, or have the luxury of less visible scams, or
  • I would not be surprised if Microsoft and Intel buy loyalties of the said "patent" from Mr Oyegbola .
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...because I think Mr. Oyegbola deserves a lawsuit of his own. Let's use evil to fight evil!

    Dear RIAA, if you go to this link, Mr. Oyegbola is offering an MP3 of Lamont Dozier's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamont_Dozier [wikipedia.org]music out of his family's website without any royalties involved: http://www.oyegbola.com/Music/LamontDozier.mp3 [oyegbola.com]

    Note, also that you can serve your summons to: Ade G. Oyegbola, 1 Timber Lane, Natick, MA 01760

  • by lunchlady55 (471982) on Monday December 03, 2007 @03:41AM (#21558201)
    "The Boston Globe has up an article about LANCOR's lawsuit over the design of the OLPC's keyboard. 'Negroponte said the lawsuit is without merit, because OLPC uses a keyboard programming technique developed in 1996, long before the Nigerian patent was filed. The founder of Lagos Analysis Corp., Ade Oyegbola, was convicted of bank fraud in Boston in 1990 and served a year in prison. Oyegbola insists his Nigerian patent is legitimate and said he plans to file a copyright-infringement lawsuit against OLPC in an American court.'" From wikipedia on argumentum ad hominem: "...consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject." o wait, this is t3h int3rtub35 wh4t wuz i thinkin.... logic is t3h 5ux0r5.
    • by FroBugg (24957) on Monday December 03, 2007 @06:23AM (#21558813) Homepage
      This is more than an ad hominem attack. If the news story had uncovered that he was a sex offender or had been convicted for stealing a car, that would be a pure personal attack. This is proof that the individual has conducted fraud in the past, and the article also presents evidence by the OLPC people that this may be another case of fraud.
    • by hxnwix (652290)

      o wait, this is t3h int3rtub35 wh4t wuz i thinkin.... logic is t3h 5ux0r5.

      Mr. Leet, the submitter did not say that we ought to be skeptical of the distinguished Nigerian gentleman because he smells bad and his mother eats beef jerky. No. In fact, the submitter included a directly relevant assertion: this gentleman, who asks us to take him at his word, was convicted of fraud in a trial by his peers. He spent a year in jail. For lying to people so that he could take their money. His new outlandish claims to own the world and all the money in it, therefore, ever so legitimate

  • Call me paranoid but to me this whole thing sounds like simple Intel and/or Microsoft anti-OLPC FUD ala SCO vs Linux/UNIX etc. Expect more to follow :-(
    • O/T

      SCO vs GNU/Linux is more accurate, even though it isn't.

      SCO claimed ownership of UNIX "intellectual property" which, they claimed, was infringed by the GNU/Linux system.
  • So what? His convictions for bank fraud are not (likely) some smoking gun in the patent case.

    The conviction goes to the weight of his own testimony, not the merits of his case. Generally, convictions of criminal activity are only admissible if the convictions serve some probative value in the current case. If he obtained his patent lawfully, his conviction for bank fraud is not relevant to the case and can't be admitted to show that, since he committed bank fraud, he must be committing patent fraud.

  • 419 (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Attn: American OLPC,

    I receive your mail of today,I understand that you are still alive that is why the reason why I wrote you a mail to know wether you still alive,this transaction is real and not fake,if other people are telling you that is fake don't mind them,they don't want your progress in this transaction.

    What is annoying you did i collected any money from you what i need from you is only your phone number and your address,this money is a big money if you don't know I don't need your account to transf
  • A million indignant geeks shake their fists in anger in their parents' basement.

    I suggest an iron pipe, brought to the offenders' kneecaps, rapidly, repeatedly.
  • ...ever goes unpunished.

    If everyone has computers and knowledge, how will anyone in the existing power structure be able to feel good about themselves ever again?
  • who tried to take down Mambo over "copywrited" three column code. Worlds full of snakes.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Monday December 03, 2007 @01:56PM (#21562663) Journal
    My name is Ade Oyegbola and I'm a wealthy buisnessman and criminal.

    Please send me your bank account information.
  • Globe Article (Score:2, Informative)

    by earlymon (1116185)
    Maybe it's just me, but it seems like the parent didn't have this link. It seems to clarify Oyegbola's position, which are not those I'd have believed from reading previous comments alone. (Hey - it was such a bad day, I tried to RTFM, couldn't, and tracked it down. So, I'm not ragging on anyone for their comments, I'm just saying about how I things came across, today.)

    http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/11/28/laptops_for_kids_group_sued_over_keyboard_design/ [boston.com]

    Anyway, it's an interesting art
  • didn't I already receive one of these?

    DEAR MRS. OLPC

    I AM A FORMER PATENT OFFICIAL FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA, AFRICA. A NIGERIAN COMPANY LAGOS ANALYTICS CORP MY OWN A PATENT ON TECHNOLOGY YOU HAVE RECENTLY INCORPORATE ON YOUR PC DEVIICE. BUT I CAN HELP YOU AVOID ANY DIFFICULTY WITH LAGOS ANALYTICS CORP IF WE BECOME FRIENDS.

    PLEASE, I PRAY YOU WILL REPLY.

    MR AYO OYEGBOLA

    someone!!! Update my spam filter puh-leeze!

    now i have an interesting story to tell. that was originally the end of the post. howev
    • It's seriously annoying, another side effect of trying to keep the idiots out. Maybe the thing should disable after you've been around for a while, how the hell are you going discuss things like EULAs otherwise?

"It's ten o'clock... Do you know where your AI programs are?" -- Peter Oakley

Working...