Apple today filed a lawsuit against eMachines - its latest bid to thwart rivals seeking to cash in on the iMac design.

The complaint, filed in US Federal Court in San Jose, California, accuses eMachines of illegally copying the iMac's industrial design. It asks the court to prevent eMachines from shipping its look-alike computer, and seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages.

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

Patti Adams, a spokeswoman for eMachines, said the company did not have any comment on the lawsuit.

eMachines began selling its eOne PC two weeks ago in Circuit City stores in the US (see Daily News, PC-maker apes iMac, August 6). On the company's Web site, the computer is priced at $799 and bears a striking resemblance to the iMac, with its integrated PC and monitor and bright colours. The iMac is currently priced from $1,199.

Apple filed similar lawsuits on July 1 against Daewoo Telecom of Korea and Future Power, Daewoo's joint venture that sells PCs in the US (see Daily news, Apple sues alleging iMac design rip-off (July 2)
Founded in September 1998, eMachines is a joint venture between Korean PC manufacturer TriGem Computer, monitor maker Korea Data Systems, and other investors.