August 20, 1999: Apple Sues eMachines

by Chris Seibold Aug 20, 2010

Once the iMac became a hit many companies wanted to copy the success of Apple. Noting that the computer couldn't do anything more than a beige G3 machine if a comparably specced PC those that wanted a piece of the iMac's success reasoned that the appeal must be all about the form factor and distinctive iMac look.

That analysis may have been shortsighted, not only was the iMac popular due to aesthetics it also leveraged Apple's reputation as provider of easy to use computers to convince those scared of technology that their easiest path to the internet was via the iMac.

Apple, naturally, was very protective of the iMac design. As Steve Jobs explained, Apple's position was as follows:

"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. 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."

In an effort to protect the iMacs looks Apple sued eMachines on August 20, 1999.


  • This was the first computer I personally ever owned, it was called the e0ne.  It worked well enough for a highschool freshman in 99, but it eventually crapped out (“No operating system found.  Please restart and try again.”) and when I emailed eMachines about replacing the hard drive their reply was essentially “Do not attempt to disassemble, repair, or upgrade the e0ne.  Electrical shock or death may result.”  I replaced it with a Compaq Presario, which served me well for about 3 years, and after that the PowerBook I’m now typing on (time for an upgrade again…)

    Andrew Harden had this to say on Aug 20, 2007 Posts: 19
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