Communications vendor Harris has sued Apple over its decision to drop the Newton handheld computer earlier this year.
Harris claims the move broke a four-year licensing deal it signed with Apple in June 1995, and cost it millions of dollars in orders for the OEM versions and spin-off products it had planned to develop.
The suit, filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court, says this lost business included a $10 million deal with telco Ameritech, which had planned to sell Harris Messagepad 2000 handheld computers, based on the Newton technology. The deal, Harris alleges, fell apart as soon as Apple said it would dump development of Newton in February.
It also maintains that Apple encouraged Harris, which had developed a ruggedised version of the original Newton machine, to go ahead with plans for a similar spin-off of the new Newton Messagepad 2000 platform. The suit goes on to say that, even as Harris was creating this product and signing its Ameritech deal, Apple was already going cold on its handheld range.
The suit is seeking damages of at least $17 million, including recovery of the money it spent developing its Apple based product line.
Apple refused to comment on the suit.
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