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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Apple Sues Maker of iMac Look-Alike PC

SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple Computer Inc. has filed a lawsuit against eMachines Inc., a privately held PC maker, alleging that eMachines had illegally copied the design of Apple's popular iMac computer with its just-launched aEone PC.

The lawsuit is the second in less than two months by the Cupertino, California-based PC maker as it seeks to protect its innovative, translucent design of the iMac consumer computer.

"There is an unlimited number of original designs that eMachines could have created for their computers, but instead they chose to copy Apple's designs," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chief executive, said in a statement.

"We've invested a lot of money and effort to create and market our award-winning computer designs, and we intend to protect them under the law," Jobs added.

Apple's colorful iMac has led to a wave of different PC designs, as other PC makers have abandoned the typical beige box design for new styles of PCs. It is also one of the factors fueling and sustaining Apple's renewed profitability, since the iMac was launched a year ago.

Earlier this month, eMachines, of Irvine, California, launched a translucent blue personal computer that runs Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating systems and uses an Intel Corp. Celeron processor. Called the aEone, the computer is priced at $799.

Stephen Dukker, eMachines chief executive, said at the time of the launch that the aEone was not an iMac knock off. "If you look at a picture of our machine and a picture of the iMac, they are not alike," Dukker said earlier this month. "They are a totally different industrial design."

However, many in the PC industry had predicted that Apple would sue eMachines when it launched the aEone. Indeed, earlier last week, a New York Times columnist wrote that the color of the aEone could be described as "Sue Me Blue."

In July, Apple sued Future Power, Daewoo Group and Daewoo Telecom of Korea, alleging that a new PC launched by Future Power in June, called the E-Power, copied the industrial design of the iMac.