Doubts cast on Luxpro’s $100 million iPod shuffle knockoff countersuit against Apple?

An article on the Chinese language FrostyPlace.com seems to cast doubt on reports of iPod shuffle knockoff-maker Luxpro countersuing Apple for $100 million.

Can any of our readers do a proper (or even semi-proper) Chinese translation of the following articles to which we’ve linked below? Google, AltaVista, and other automated tools butcher Chinese to English translations so badly that it’s impossible at the moment to clearly decipher what’s going on here. Please contact us via webmaster@macdailynews.com if you are able to help.

Still, after slogging through both Google’s and AltaVista’s Chinese-English manglations of FrostyPlace’s article, it appears that the reports of a Luxpro countersuit may not be what it seems. In fact, Luxpro may have even lost the case, not won it as reported (please see our related article from earlier today below). The possibility exists that this could simply be a publicity stunt by Luxpro and a case of the media reporting on a press release without first checking the facts (otherwise know as “Standard Operating Procedure” nowadays).

We’ll wait to see if we can get a good translation of FrostyPlace’s article and the court’s finding before adding to this story.

The article is here. (Google’s “translation” here.)

A link to the court document is here.

[UPDATE: Please see “g_lined’s” post below for translation.]

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Shun C.” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Luxpro countersues Apple for $100 million over iPod shuffle knockoff – January 05, 2007

Luxpro alters iPod shuffle look-alike music player, renames it ‘Super Tangent’ – March 31, 2005
Report: Luxpro ‘Super shuffle’ knock-off of Apple iPod shuffle a publicity stunt – March 21, 2005
iPod shuffle rip-off maker Luxpro’s Chairman: patents do not cover appearance – March 15, 2005
Apple moves to stop CeBIT presentation of Luxpro’s ‘Super shuffle’ iPod shuffle rip-off – March 14, 2005
Attention Apple Legal Dept: Luxpro debuts blatant ‘iPod shuffle’ rip-off called ‘Super shuffle’ – March 10, 2005

24 Comments

  1. A few years ago Coke’s TV ads had the phrase: “Coke adds life.” the Chinese translation was “Coke will raise your ansestors from the grave.” This is a true story, and was reported in all of the major news outlets.

  2. Indeed, the article points out that the local media didn’t do any fact-checking before running stories that says Apple lost the case. In fact, Luxpro has lost. However, since the Super Shuffle is no longer in production, the court finds it unnecessary to impose an injunction. Looks like Apple is still pursuing other punitive damages. The article ends by wondering how Luxpro can possibly get the $100M from Apple.

  3. Translation: (Meant for comprehension not 100% accuracy so don’t try and follow it piece by piece)

    Luxpro claim they won the Shuffle copyright case and ask Apple for $100M

    This week, the Taiwanese company Luxpro told the media that they won a well known 2005 copyright case brought against them Apple over an alleged copy of the iPod shuffle mp3 player. a court in Taipei ruled that Luxpro won the case because it was judged that their product wasn’t similar enough to be infringing. Luxpro has hired lawyers to sue Apple for $100M in compensation.

    Upon hearing these reports in the media, many Mac users around the world have disagreed with this ruling. People have been leaving comments on internet sites saying that both products are exactly the same, like twins and that everyone can see that the product is a copy. Wu Fujin, in charge of Luxpro said in March 2005 to a UDN reporter that although they copied the casing, he didn’t believe that it broke any patents and admitted that they were indeed attempting to jump on the iPod bandwagon.

    So we looked through the court transcripts to try and work out what made the court issue such an irrational ruling. The result didn’t come as a surprise to us since the news media tends to report without checking the facts first and simply regurgitate the press release as received.

    This comes from the court transcript:

    Luxpro imitated the Apple iPod shuffle and cannot in the future, in any form, traffic, transport, manufacture, import or export any products similar to the iPod shuffle

    So why did Luxpro announce that they won in a press release? The court rejected Apple’s request that the court sequester Luxpro’s products. The principle reason for this was that Apple’s lawyers basis for this request was related to Article 20 of the legislation which didn’t apply to that situation.

    SInce Luxpro had already ceased selling the product, the court saw no reason to grant their request anyway.

    In addition the court agreed that the shuffle, unveiled in Germany, did impact Apple negatively. Luxpro not only violated the Taiwanese law Article 20 of the 1st paragraph but also the German law preventing unfair competition. Thus whether they’re in Taiwan or Germany they are liable under Tort law.

    Also in the transcript from last October is a statement from the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission saying that although Luxpro didn’t very obviously break the law Luxpro’s products were so similar to the iPod that the commission suspects that they copied the design deliberately to increase profits. However, because the commission didn’t actually make a ruling against Luxpro in its own capacity, Apple will appeal to the commission to take action.

    Based on the judgement, we are rather curious about how Luxpros lawyers are going to establish their basis for their $100M claim to the Taiwanese court.

  4. So that story was taken from a bad chinese translation. No wonder why it was messed up.
    I just couldn’t see how a court could not see what a bad clone Luxpro made of the iPod shuffle and could actually win in court. Unless like I said the judge was paid off big time.

  5. No, John, not “bad translation”… The media at large simply didn’t do any fact checking by going down to the court, pull the records and do its diligence.

    I suspect Luxpro is using this as a free publicity stunt to increase its sales (which is basically non-existent)… For a company that’s worth merely hundreds of thousands of USD, one million is quite a bit of cash!

  6. @ Rooibosh

    Second that, sent it with a short comment to the biggest Dutch newspaper..

    To all, don’t even start about ‘neighbour’s monthly newsletter’ stuff…. lol

    Cheers all…

    Luc

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