Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Chinese clone smartphone maker claims to have patented the iPhone 5 design

The Chinese manufacturer of a cloned iPhone 5 said on Tuesday that it would sue Apple if the Cupertino, Calif.-based electronics giant attempted to launch the iPhone 5 in China. We wrote about GooPhone's I5 last week, an Android-based device based on leaked images and parts.

Now, GooPhone is saying that since they released their cloned Goophone I5 first, that means their device is the original, and the iPhone 5 is in fact the clone, not the I5.

It kind of makes sense in a way that obviously won't hold any water in a legal venue.

GooPhone has gone even further than just making claims, though. According to GizChina, the company has gone so far as to patent the GooPhone I5's design.

If you think about it, considering Apple's huge win against Samsung recently, for - among other things - copying the design of the iPhone, a design patent lawsuit filed by GooPhone against Apple would be ironic.

This is China, notably, and despite Apple's global business power, it was forced to settle with Proview over the iPad trademark in China, so there is precedent. Of course, the GooPhone I5 isn't really that close in design to the iPhone 5. For one, it's using an unspecified version of Android, probably Gingerbread based on past clone Chinese devices.

Although it was originally reported that the GooPhone I5 didn't have the elongated 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5, in the video "defense" of its patents below, it certainly appears that the company has duplicated that aspect of the iPhone 5, as well. 

It even has a small dock connector than the iPhone 4S, but we're guessing it's a standard microUSB connector, since the firm probably doesn't have the pin-out specs of the new nine-pin Apple connector.

Watch the GooPhone i5 introductory video below.  We still don't think Apple has anything to worry about, but who knows?

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