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March 14th, 2000

[4:30 PM] Future Power To Apple: We Have To Party For Our Right To Fight (With Pics)
by Staff

Future Power issued a press release today in rebuttal to a press release from Apple earlier this month. You can read about Apple's press release in our coverage from March 9th. According to Future Power:

Apple Computer, Inc. issued a press release announcing that it had obtained a worldwide injunction against Daewoo Telecom, Ltd. preventing sale of the E-Power, a Windows-based, all-in-one PC that Apple claims infringes on its iMac trade dress.

Future Power considers Apple's announcement to be misleading and, through its attorneys, has demanded a retraction by Apple.

According to Future Power's attorney, John C. Gorman, of the law firm of Gorman & Miller in San Jose, a negotiated settlement has been reached between Apple and Daewoo that permits sale of a version of the E-Power computer made with a "silvery blue"-colored plastic casing. Gorman further stated, the stipulated injunction provides that Daewoo is prohibited -- but only for a limited period of four years -- from selling E-Power computers (and other computers with the same overall shape and size) in the following specified colors: Bondi Blue, Blueberry, Tangerine, Strawberry, Grape, Lime, and Graphite.

No settlement has been reached between Apple and Future Power, the Santa Clara, California-based distributor of the "E-Power By Future Power" computer. Future Power originally introduced the "E-Power By Future Power" computer at a June 1999 trade show in New York City. It remains Future Power's intention to vigorously contest Apple's trade dress claims. Future Power's General Manager, Bill Voecks, commented: "The marketing of products made with colorful translucent plastic is a design trend that started with Swatch watches, beepers, CD players, and other consumer products several years before Apple jumped on the bandwagon with its iMac. Future Power does not believe that consumers should be forced to wait another four years before fashionable colored computers become available to the vast majority of computer buyers who prefer a Windows operating system to the MacIntosh [sic] operating system."

According to Future Power's attorney, John C. Gorman, of the law firm of Gorman & Miller in San Jose: "Apple has no legal right to monopolize the sale of colored computers. Customers are routinely able to distinguish between similar looking products sold by competing manufacturers. There is no realistic likelihood that consumers will confuse a Windows-based PC that is clearly labeled as an 'E-Power By Future Power' with an iMac."

Future Power anticipates that its trade dress litigation with Apple will be set for trial before the United States District Court in San Jose later this year and that its legal position will be vindicated.

Blueberry iMac
"Sapphire" E-Power

You can find an under construction page at Future Power's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: There is a term for this kind of crap; second-hander. Future Power is in essence saying that they have the right to rip off the iMac because the public deserves it. If the public wants an iMac, but doesn't want to use the Mac OS, they are entitled to buy an iMac that runs Windows. That is complete and unadulterated BS! The only entitlement involved is Apple's right to earn profits based on the work that they do. No one else is entitled to earn profits on that work.

As you can see from the above images, Apple's complaint is about much more than the use of "colored plastics." The E-Power is a blatant, an utterly blatant, rip-off of the iMac, much more so than SOTEC/eMachine's product, the eOne. Future Power should be ashamed of themselves for even trying to foist off this product in the first place, let alone for claiming some sort of moral high ground!

In regards to Apple's press release, in our opinion it does not make any unwarranted claims about Future Power, but that is obviously for the attorneys, judges, and/or juries to dicker about.

Have a thought? Express it in The Mac Observer Forum.

Future Power



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