GooPhone – a clone phone maker in China – is threatening to sue Apple if the iPhone 5 is released in China, claiming it already owns the patented design.
The claim is dubious, given the design Goophone is referring to is a cheaply-made Android handset, cloned on the back of alleged components of the iPhone 5 released several months ago.
But, according to a report by Cult of Mac, the Chinese company may have the law on its side:
“…they have released their clone first, so everything that comes after that must be a copy, even if they actually made their phone after the parts of a phone that hasn’t been released yet but that everyone believes is the real thing”, the report states.
The GooPhone I5 handset features a 4in screen, a small dock connector port and a back component comprising mainly of metal –all features that have long been rumoured to appear on Apple’s six-generation iPhone.
GooPhone has already secured patents for the Android device in China, and will likely use this as evidence to file an injunction lawsuit against Apple, to ban the sale of the iPhone 5 in China. However, the company could be headed for trouble, considering Apple has held its own patented iPhone 5 technology for several years already. And, as Mac Observer points out, has already demonstrated the lengths it will go to in order to protect its designs in the recent patent trial against Samsung.