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Chinese Company Threatens to Sue Apple Over Design of iPhone 5

Steven Blum
20

You really can't get any more hilarious than this. Turns out the Chinese company that debuted their iPhone 5 knock-off last week at IFA is now saying they're going to sue Apple when they release the real iPhone 5 in China. 

Seriously.

The logic behind this, according to designers Goo-Phone based in Hong Kong, is that since they released their clone first, everything that comes after is technically a copy even if the phone they designed was based on leaked parts of the iPhone that hadn't been released. 

In other words, Apple is the real copy-cat, since Goo-Phone's first was "released" first. 

Of course, this epic trolling stunt isn't something any other company should be emulating (*ahem* Samsung *ahem*), because that would be bad. And unethical. 

Can a company get away with something like this in China? It depends on the patent laws there, of course. In the Europe and the US there are plenty of variations depending on who either came up with or patented the idea first. 

All I know is: this is freaking hilarious.

(Top photo: Gizmodo.com)

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Comments

Write new comment:
  • Eric McBride Sep 4, 2012 Link

    So wait...

    They take Apple's leaked iPhone 5 design, release it first, then Apple releases the iPhone 5 (assuming the leaks are accurate), and then they sue the hell out of Apple for willful design infringement???

    That is seriously....**cking....BRILLIANT

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  • clouds Sep 4, 2012 Link

    I really started to hate apple!
    Greedy as hell, money sucking machine.
    Good for china :-P

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  • Patrick R. Sep 4, 2012 Link

    Steven you just made my day. I just laughed a little too loud even for the noisy coffee shop I am in. If they get away with this, I would declare that the only patent system worse than the US is China. Wait, are you sure that is a legit chinese company and not Google or Samsung in disguise? Haha

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  • Dvoraak Sep 4, 2012 Link

    Holy cow I gotta agree with you.

    You really can't get any more hilarious than that. I'll be telling this story to every one I know.

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  • Anna F. Sep 4, 2012 Link

    No way! Seriously?! Well, if they really do sue and the courts take it seriously (I doubt it) there's no way they'll win. Apple sure has proof they came up with the design first and, c'mon! Even that Chinese company's NAME is an Apple mock-up!!

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  • Glostermeteor Sep 4, 2012 Link

    Maybe Apple are copying Operation Fortitude and making their rivals think the iPhone looks one way but then releasing a different design....

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  • Patrick R. Sep 4, 2012 Link

    Wait, I just realized that it just might work. It is because I doubt the iPhone 5 design is already registered in any patent office. And in patent law, it is the date of registration that determines your right, unlike copyright law which is determined by the date of creation or publication. So unless Apple can prove by preponderant evidence that the design was really stolen by Goo Phone from them and not taken from the public domain (i.e. an uncredited picture on thebinternet) they are in fact kinda screwed and goo phone has a legitimate shot at this foolishness.

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    Maldor Sep 5, 2012 Link

    This might be a well needed change in the headlines if this actually happens

    I mean cmon who is still interested in the patent wars between apple and android?

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  • joe boreham Sep 5, 2012 Link

    I think apple are a p*ss taking bunch off greedy people & are just getting back what they put out. the 1st iphone no camera, ground breaking, it took till the 4 series to get a flash & decent pixel count, cost £600.00 approx. SIRI, great app, If you live in usa. Series 4 wrong antenna 4gs, being replaced all ready, didn't last a year. no doubt the tablets are the same. Go Samsung, China, don't they produce the I phone over there? lol apple, I trust this case will be held on samsungs home turf, as apples was.

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  • SimonC Sep 5, 2012 Link

    When I read this I howled with laughter.
    Apple have been cherry picking the best ideas from everyone else and patenting them as their own. If Apple are prevented from selling iPhone5 in China they will be the laughing stock of the mobile industry.

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  • chinu Sep 5, 2012 Link

    Good going goo mobile

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  • Stan Jez Sep 5, 2012 Link

    Set up a company. Employ a team of innovative designers and churn out hundreds of designs of handsets. Then patent them all. That should be a great formula for eventually making a serious amount of money by litigation of stolen design. I'd suggest that rounded rectangles might be left off the list because someone else invented that.
    Any takers? Ps if it works for you, I only want 1.5%

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  • Anna F. Sep 5, 2012 Link

    @Patrick R. Actually, I thought about that too but I think it still won't work. I wish it would but it just can't :( Think about it; the iPhone 5 will look A LOT like the rest of Apple's iPhones so Apple can at least claim they copied the design of all of the previous iPhone models.
    If Goo Phone does win though, that will mean 2 things: 1) The patent system is seriously screwed and 2) I'll be having a party :)

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  • Michael larmond Sep 5, 2012 Link

    Wait so you take an idea that might already be patent(parts), and then make a phone,patent it with the parts that already has a patent! Wow. U think apple hasn't already patent the stuff that has been leaked already?

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  • Michael larmond Sep 5, 2012 Link

    Wait how has apple cherry picked from other companies? When they were the first all touch screen phone? remember I said all that means the whole entire phone is touch screen, it has one button 1 button!!!
    This was for the person who said apple cherry picked from other companies, no one else in particular

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  • Patrick R. Sep 6, 2012 Link

    @Anna, yes you are right, but the point is Goo Phone may have enough for a case for it to be litigated upon and apple will have to go to court. Depends on chinese patent law though, which may appear to be pretty lax considering the stuff they churn out there.

    @Michael, the parts yes, but for the actual look and design of the iPhone 5, I doubt it. Honestly, they don't trust their own employees, right? For example, at samsung, even the employees who worked on the multiple GS3 mock ups did not know which was the real deal. I'm guessing they trust a clerk in the patent office a lot less.

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  • D Hoyland Sep 6, 2012 Link

    This is going to be fun, and someone's head will roll for the C'up.
    The winner will be the one who can lie the best and get away with it.
    I have a China IClone1 as I call it (IPhone1), it's the best phone I have ever owned. it's a bit of a brick now but it still works great after 4 years.
    May the best lie win.
    Posted using, IPhone 6.

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  • Patrick R. Sep 6, 2012 Link

    @D Hoyland, couldn't have put it better

    In court, the truth is not at all relevant, what is relevant is what can be proven, admitted and excluded as evidence by your lawyers. That is why they are called sharks. Lawyers can and will go on a feeding frenzy and attack mode given the smallest of opportunities. I am sure the line of lawyers in Goo Phone's office is long and distinguished, all proposing a contingent fee structure, maybe 30% of what they can collect. Can someone point me to the end of the line?

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  • SimonC Sep 10, 2012 Link

    @Michael larmond

    One button or not Apple weren't the first company to use a capacative touchscreen rather than a numeric or qwerty keyboard. LG revealed the Prada in September 2006 some 9 months before the iPhone launched.

    The single button on the iPhone or the 3 buttons on the Prada are nothing to do with the touchscreen except to perform on screen actions which are software controlled GUI interactions just the same as the Prada.

    LG Electronics has claimed the iPhone's design was copied from the LG Prada. Woo-Young Kwak, head of LG Mobile Handset R&D Center, said at a press conference, “We consider that Apple copied the Prada phone after the design was unveiled when it was presented in the iF Design Award and won the prize in September 2006

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  • bill whitfield Sep 14, 2012 Link

    actually i hope they get away with it... SERIOUSLY !!!!
    apple does NOT manufacture any of its parts...it only owns patents on design only and has no way of producing the parts themselves while the manufacturers own the patents on the actual parts..
    why dont the manufacturers just tell apple to F off and sell those parts to other phone companies leaving apple with no product at all to sue for... then they can only sue on ideas which are getting fewer and fewer as time goes by as the manufacturers sell the same amount of parts...
    take a hike apple and take itunes with you

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