Chinese Knock Off Maker Ready to Sue over iPhone 5 Design

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Apple hasn't hosted its September 12 media event yet, or even announced that a new iPhone is coming, but that isn't stopping GooPhone from promising to sue the company for stealing its smartphone design. That design, by the way, is based on parts that are allegedly for the upcoming next generation iPhone.
GooPhone I5: First!
 
Since its Android-based smartphone clone maker released a phone based on what the next iPhone is expected to look like, the company reckons, when Apple unveils its smartphone with the same design, Apple is the copycat.
 
The GooPhone I5 sports a 4-inch display, headphone jack on the bottom edge of the phone, a mostly metal back, and a small dock connector port. If that sounds familiar, it's because that's the rumored description for the next generation iPhone, too.
 
Gizchina said GooPhone claims to have already nabbed a Chinese patent for its iPhone 5-ish design. If so, the company could potentially try to stop Apple from selling the next iPhone model in China, or even try to block exports to other countries. At the very least, it's a safe bet that GooPhone will try to squeeze at least a few yuan out of Apple -- assuming there's at least a passing resemblance between the I5 and new iPhone.

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GooPhone managed to make a smartphone that looks like the next iPhone based on leaked parts, and got its knock off onto store shelves in China before Apple has unveiled the new model. In the normal world, expecting to be able to sue Apple over the design seems ridiculous, but in China's court system that may be a different story.
 
Since Apple holds design patents for the iPhone going back several years, however, GooPhone could have a serious fight on its hands -- and as Samsung has learned, Apple doesn't back down in court.

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11 Comments Leave Your Own

Sy

If they sued Apple, they would win the prize for the largest pair of brass balls in China.

geoduck

Sy
I SO wish we had the ability to + a comment.

Bryan, you are correct. In any other country but China GooPhone would not be laughed out of court, they’d be slapped down so hard they’d never see the light of day. In China however, it’s a craps shoot.
Most likely they saw how Proview did and is hoping for the same.

Lee Dronick

Sy, they would be pot metal dipped in brass.

tkid

There are countless so-called “patents” in China on small Japanese brands (food, sake, local trinkets, etc) that are not owned by the proper Japanese owner and has created a huge barrier to doing business in China. This practice has got to be stopped.
Here’s an example of a not-so-small brand.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/01/technology/01pirate.html?pagewanted=all

NEALC5

You have to give the Chinese credit for being ruthless capitalists! But unless they stop these shameful practices, their reputation for being copycats won’t stop.  And people doing business with China will be very wary of opening the kimono.

jfbiii

Actually, Lee,  they would be brownish-glittery lightweight plastic with visible mold seams and sharp bits visible.

sflocal

Actually, they would be titanium balls, dipped in brass with its core powered by a star.

True, in China it’s rolling dice.  I still want to think that the court system would see through the smoke they’re blowing.  One has to hope.

sflocal

I spent some time looking at GooPhone’s website.  I’m actually amazed at how brazen and shameful these guys are.  They go to great lengths to show that they are essentially making a pure iPhone knockoff and riding on Apple’s coattails.

It looks like they lifted video from the iPhone manufacturing facility and (maybe) photoshopped their logo on the back of the phones being assembled.  Can anyone else validate this?

Shameful company.  Just goes to show they have zero ethics when it comes to IP.  I bet the fandroids see nothing wrong with this, being the freetards that they are.

iJack

I wrote a comment about Asian knockoffs as a cultural difference on another thread, and it got pulled.  Although it wasn’t racist or “xenophobic.” as one commenter put it, I’m guessing TMO staff thought it was.

And here we are today with a story that even I couldn’t have imagined.

Darktanone

Since it looks like the current iPhone 4S with Apple’s patented antenna design and trade dress. I’m going out on a limb in saying they won’t stand a chance against Apple. Even in a Chinese court!

iJack

“HERE IS OUR PRICE LIST”

Oh, dear…

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