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iPhone 5 May be Viewed as a Clone Device in China; Lawsuit Incoming

by Sean P. Aune | September 5, 2012September 5, 2012 8:00 am PST


From the land of crazy juice comes the story of how a knock-off phone manufacturer may get the opportunity to sue Apple for copying them.

It’s rare that a story shocks me any more, but this one made my jaw drop this morning. Last week a Chinese company released the GooPhone i5 you see pictured above. If you’ve been following the leaks of the iPhone 5 at all, it should look awfully familiar. This company quickly released a phone based on the leaked designs of Apple’s upcoming device, and everyone had a good laugh over it.

Then the design for the GooPhone got patented in China. Not the iPhone 5, but the GooPhone.

You see, Apple in its desire to be secretive hasn’t pushed the rumored design through the various patent offices yet. The GooPhone hit the market in China last week and immediately went through the patent process, and according to Giz-China it has been granted said patent.

As there is now a patent on the GooPhone design – which bares a striking resemblance to the leaked iPhone 5 … but not anything that has been patented –  the knock-off company has issued a warning that should Apple show off a phone next week that resembles the GooPhone, it will sue Apple for patent infringement and block sales of the iPhone 5 in China.

Nope. We couldn’t make this up if we tried.

In short: iPhone 5 leaks could lead to legal headaches for Apple in China, and all because some company was able to race through and make a knock-off … er … an original phone that does not in any way resemble a current Apple product on the market. Oh, Apple. When will you learn to stop copying unknown Chinese device makers?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to step outside and continue laughing over this one.

[via Giz-China]

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...