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Chinese 'iPhone 5' cloner threatens Apple with legal action

updated 05:24 pm EDT, Tue September 4, 2012

Claims patented design, could block Chinese iPhone sales

The Chinese manufacturer of a phone based on the alleged "iPhone 5" design says it will sue Apple if it releases the expected device in China. GooPhone, the maker of the Android-based i5, claims to have patented the design in China, despite being created after supposed parts for Apple's next iPhone surfaced online.

The maneuver could theoretically stop all iPhone sales in China, or even exports. Apple has already had issues with companies in China taking advantage of its popularity, including one recent legal battle over the iPad trademark in the country. That ended in July with Apple paying Proview a settlement of $60 million, following a long mediation period.

The i5 has a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, a 5 megapixel rear camera, and a 1.3 megapixel front camera. Considering that a clone of the Samsung Galaxy S III appearing on the GooPhone online store shows a lower resolution than the real thing by a vast margin, reaching 854x480 instead of the 1280x720 the original operates with, the 3.5-inch GooPhone i5 is likely to have a far lower resolution than the iPhone 5.

Apple is holding a press conference on the 12th of September, where the real iPhone 5 is expected to debut. [via Gizchina]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. Infinitewill

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-28-11

    Good luck with that. An entire country of IP thieves or just a few rotten million?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    I *so* saw this coming.

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-14-10

    Anyone remember the Tom Lehere song Lobachevsky

    "Plagiarize, but please be sure to call it Research".

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    And with this, the patent system has OFFICIALLY put its head up its own rear end.

  1. Waragainstsleep

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 03-20-04

    I find it hard to believe the iPhone 5 (assuming it looks like the leaked parts we've seen) won't be covered by the same patents that cover the iPhone 4 and 4S in terms of the structural antenna band and front and rear panels.

    Patents mean nothing in China anyway, unless you are Chinese and Apple will have Foxconn on their side again. Hard to imagine Goophone being able to take on Foxconn.

  1. AlenShapiro

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-24-00

    At least we know now where the Proview guys went :-)

  1. jdsonice@gmail.com

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-18-09

    This is fantastic.

    They copy Apple and then sue Apple for releasing the original. Maybe Samsung should have done that.

  1. Jeffrey Bonacci

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-04-12

    These Chinese companies make me sick to my stomach. It is disgusting behavior. The mere fact that they think they would be able to do that is proof how ridiculous they are.

  1. Jeffrey Bonacci

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-04-12

    These Chinese companies make me sick to my stomach. It is disgusting behavior. The mere fact that they think they would be able to do that is proof how ridiculous they are.

  1. caveman664

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-17-12

    At some point, this insanity is going to have to be resolved by the Chinese government. Don't they realize how genuinely stupid they look?

  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    This is an open and shut slam dunk victory for GooPhone in China. There are probably over 100 suits similar to this that Apple will be settling before the end of the year.

  1. kavok

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-27-10

    Here's a thought.. Since it's the Chinese manufacturing companies that have the leaks of parts and such, maybe Apple should take the manufacturing somewhere else. Might make things a bit more expensive, but it would save their markets in China and other places.

  1. Waragainstsleep

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 03-20-04

    The Chinese government don't think their companies look silly when they are making money hand over fist.

    I heard about one company who placed an order for 100 helicopters. They took delivery of the first one, cancelled the rest of the order and reversed engineered it and started selling clones.

  1. ctt61

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-21-05

    take these jobs back to south america. at least we create jobs in the same continent.

  1. macmediausa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-23-05

    How can they patent a design that already has been in play? Apple obviously has been working on this design a while and surely can prove the dates - I'm sure Foxconn has proof too.

  1. Bittyson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-21-11

    it's not the same continent (that is, North and South America).

  1. Bittyson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-21-11

    What did they patent, the false "leaked" pictures of the iPhone 5? How do you spell dork in Chinese?

  1. coffeetime

    Junior Member

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Never mind suing for iPhone 5. The fake phone product is identical to iPhone 4.... unless they are suing over the name "iPhone 5".... like Proview's "iPad" name.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by coffeetimeView Post

    Never mind suing for iPhone 5. The fake phone product is identical to iPhone 4.... unless they are suing over the name "iPhone 5".... like Proview's "iPad" name.



    Look again.

    They built a product based on the leaked parts of the iPhone 5 and brought it to market before Apple could.

  1. apostle

    Junior Member

    Joined: 04-16-08

    It seems to me that people today are more about themselves and less about others. Has technology isolated people so much from real human contact that they no longer know how to communicate? To work out differences like mature adults? And not sue everytime one thinks they've been wronged?

    If it turns out that this company has patents that Apple is using, license, don't sue. Don't create the potential for people to lose their jobs. People are more than statistics.

    ...exiting my soap box

    =0)

  1. b9bot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-22-08

    Based on the crappy specs alone, they don't have a case to stand on. Especially the camera specs are so iPhone 4.
    Proview got nothing and now won't even pay there own lawyers. Hopefully this will go no where.
    Just another get rich scam, I'd like to see there design patents, probably forged and made up.

  1. caveman664

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-17-12

    Originally Posted by ctt61View Post

    take these jobs back to south america. at least we create jobs in the same continent.


    I believe that South America and North America are different continents :-)

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