Apple has been sued by MP3 maker Luxpro, with the Taiwanese manufacturer claiming Apple achieved its dominance in the MP3 market through monopolistic behaviour.
Luxpro says in the lawsuit, which was filed in the US, that "Apple has sought to stamp out the competition using various schemes" and "has repeatedly used unfair tactics against other smaller manufacturers".
In 2005 Luxpro launched a product at the CeBIT trade show called 'Super Shuffle'. However, Apple argued that Super Shuffle was a bit too much like the iPod shuffle and the company applied for and won injunctive relief from a German court. Luxpro later renamed and relaunched the product under the Super Tangent name.
"Apple, as part of its scheme to squash a competitor, then sued Luxpro in Taiwan alleging that the appearance of the Super Tangent, EZ Tangent, and Top Tangent closely resembled the iPod shuffle," the lawsuit reads. "Through a clearly one-sided submission by Apple when the lawsuit was filed, Apple was able to convince a Taiwanese court to enter a preliminary injunction that prohibited Luxpro from manufacturing, distributing and marketing any of its MP3 products."
Even though Luxpro won the case on appeal, the company claims that "Apple's unlawful legal strategy caused Luxpro to lose valuable market opportunities and a considerable amount of product orders".
Luxpro also claims that Apple applied pressure to its business partners demanding they stop doing business with Luxpro. Luxpro is seeking a jury trial and punitive damages "to punish the conduct of the Defendant and to deter others from similar conduct".
This isn't Luxpro's first lawsuit against Apple. The company sued Apple in 2005 for $100m claiming lost sales.