Apple sues eMachines over iMac rip-off

What looks like an iMac, but is actually useful, with Windows compatibility, a floppy drive, better expandability, and PC card support? It's called an eOne PC and it's maker, eMachines, is in hot water with Apple Computer because the design of the machine cuts a little too close to the colorful and cheap iMac. Indeed, even a cursory examination of the eOne is enough to conclude that eMachines completely ripped off the Apple design, right down to the selection of translucent plastics, and overall structure of the all-in-one box.

Of course, there's one thing eMachines *didn't* rip-off: iMac's high price. The eOne costs only $800, and it comes with more memory, more hard drive space and better expandability.

"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 Apple "iCEO" Steve Jobs. "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."

The similarities between the two boxes seem lost on eMachines CEO Stephen Dukker, however.

"If you look at a picture of our machine and a picture of the iMac, they are not alike," Dukker has said, noting that the eOne has a floppy drive and the iMac does not. "They are a totally different industrial design."

When the eOne debuted at PC Expo in June, the consensus was that Apple would sue. Now that the machine has hit the streets--you can see it (for now) at places such as Best Buy and Circuit City--Apple has done just that. On the other hand, one would think that Apple would be used to the PC world stealing a Macintosh design and turning it into a cheaper and better PC product

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