Chinese Knockoff Maker With A Sense Of Humor Files Design Patent On Leaked iPhone 5 Design

from the joke's-on-you dept

crashsuit alerts us to the bizarre story that a Chinese phone knockoff maker, who took some supposed "leaked" photos of the still unannounced iPhone 5 and not only produced a knockoff device called the Goophone I5 (running Android, naturally), but also is claiming to already have a Chinese patent on the design.

Of course, we've talked about Chinese manufacturers creating rather interesting mashups of phone ideas by ignoring patent, trademark and copyright laws (sometimes all at once!). And the decision to file for a design patent is made that much more amusing when you consider how design patents were at the center of some of Apple's big case against Samsung (for the non-patent nerds out there, design patents are a bit different than what most people traditionally think of as patents, and some actually suggest that they're really closer to trademarks than "patents" in that they really just cover a basic design look and feel, rather than a method or process).

That said, the details of this "Chinese patent" are a bit sketchy. Was it just applied for? Or granted? No one seems to be saying. It could just be a joke. That said, we've been noting for quite some time that while the US has been pushing China to respect patents a lot more (due to lobbying pressure from US companies), China has been mocking them all by suddenly "enforcing" patents much more stringently... but almost always against foreign companies and to benefit Chinese competitors. So, it's not completely crazy to suggest that a Chinese company might be able to secure such a patent and use it to stop Apple, though it would take a fair amount of chutzpah (or whatever the Chinese equivalent is) to make such a claim.


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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    I can see the lawsuit coming already, from apple

    Lawsuit allegations: illegal interference with a business model.

    The irony is that it's entirely possible the chinese company could produce something more functional than apple, since chinese cellphones tend to do exactly that in the first place.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    Well you can never go wrong by copying products from crApple.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

    i hope this is true. Apple deserves to get screwed in the same way that they screw everyone else! no sympathy for them at all. just another greedy company that uses it's financial clout to stop less well off companies from suing it, then steals a design or something saying it belongs to them

     

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      rallen (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

      Re:

      Apple didn't originate that scheme, and this Chinese manufacturer won't be the last to use it, either. It happens quite frequently, I'm afraid. Small innovator comes up with great idea, but can't afford to patent it (can take several million in US patent process, and only gives you the right to sue) then along comes Mr. Deep-pockets-Sleazeball who copies it, patents it, and forces the originator to shut down with court papers because he can't afford to fight it. Also happens with bullshit software patents.
      Yes, the US patent system is broken, on purpose.

       

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    David (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Chutzpah

    The Chinese equivalent is: 放肆 :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Apple deserves it if this company is serious and they sue apple for stealing the design they stole from Apple. Apple showed with the Samsung lawsuits they don't care about competing by building a better phone anymore, they'd rather pull better cheaper competitors off the shelves.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 1:10pm

    sometimes a guy just wants to vote for an article for funniest comment of the week.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Girlish glee

    I got giddy while reading this.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    Chutzpah?

    It's nothing any other company run by someone with balls of unobtanium couldn't do.

     

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    Machin Shin (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 1:23pm

    So anyone else see this and find the only thing that is depressing about this whole story is that you can't run out and buy one yet? Ohh, the possibilitys! The awesomeness of an android phone with all the fun case options of the iPhone...

    Not to mention I would be happy to support anything that annoys the big names such as Apple and Microsoft.

     

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      LDoBe (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 4:44pm

      Re:

      Don't waste your money. I've been given a few of these types of knockoffs as promo swag before. They're not actually android OS, they look a bit like android, but the setting screens and impossible version ID numbers give away that the OS is developed in-house specifically to work with the cheapest hardware you can possibly imagine. Usually the whole graphical OS is a JVM skinned to look like the OS it's mimicing.

      I even got a tablet once. It had buttons beneath the LED screen, (under the lighting element), and of course claimed to be "touch-screen". More like "click on the grid of hidden buttons screen". They're really terrible, cheap and flimsy devices held together mostly with spit, and a loose fold here and there.

      I'd buy one if it was likely to be any good, the idea of an Android clone of the iPhone is pretty cool. But none of these devices are as good as the consumer grade crap that ships to American big-box stores. And none of the devices I've seen even have real Android versions running on them.

      They are called knockoffs for a reason.

       

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        Englishdevil, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 4:55pm

        Re: Re:

        LOL actually i have purchased a few tablet from China and there quality is really improving a lot, prices are not as low as you would think but you get more bang for your buck and they have devices that are approved by Google so have the google play store. Yes there are bad knock off's but there are good copies if you spend some time weeding out the good from the bad, I mean the one I purchased recently has a real true ips screen with excellent viewing angles and a clear sharp image. Prices are dropping but the Chines are starting to learn that they need local suppliers and some form of customer service, even if it is just sending a replacement if the one you got was faulty.

        If there quality control is improved and they spend just that little bit more time in designing the devices they can and do compete with the best on sale everywhere.

         

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          AzureSky (profile), Sep 10th, 2012 @ 12:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          very true, some chinese makers have great build quality

          Ainol
          Eken
          Onda
          RAmos
          Teclast

          there are others, but its amazing how far some of these chinese makers have come, Onda has been well known for years for their media players, Ainol, RAmos and Teclast as well....

          I got a buddy an onda android tab that was one of the first in the world to get a working port of ICS its working great to this day....and its better in some ways then my touch pad.....(and was cheaper).....main way being its working well with a 64gb microsd card......(no slot on touchpad).....

           

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    Jay (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Poetic justice

    Oh, dearie me. The only way this could have been better is if this had been announced a day after the verdict came down. And I'm saying that from an iMac. This is glorious.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    The apple is poison don't eat it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    First to File!

    It's a good thing we're a first to file system now. It'd be sad if someone went to all the effort to steal someone else's work and couldn't get rewarded for their efforts.

     

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    BeaverJuicer (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    I will really laugh, if they then license their patent to... SAMSUNG!

     

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    Confucius, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    I say:

    It make my face smile very big and my voice laughing muchly.

    Mmmmm... tummy hungry too.

     

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    Chinee, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    Ha ha

    Me Chinese
    Me no joke
    Me shove IP down your throat.

     

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    peter, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    Please please please

    Will someone tell me how to get one. I have a friend who 'must' have the new apple on the day of release so he can claim bragging rights down the bar. I want to show him whilst he is in the Apple queue. That has got to be the best spoiler ever.

     

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    PopeRatzo (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    goophone

    Yes of course it's a joke.

    Just like our patent laws.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 4:36pm

    I'll buy one just to support them doing something this comically bold.

     

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    Wally (profile), Sep 7th, 2012 @ 5:45pm

    New knockoff

    The 2PG is a great little knockoff :-)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ashens?nomobile=1

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2012 @ 6:09pm

    Is this an example of "innovation" as that term is used here?

     

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    art guerrilla (profile), Sep 8th, 2012 @ 6:12am

    what's sauce for the goose...

    ...is sauce for the gander ? ? ?

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2012 @ 2:54am

    oh, but this wouldn't be a problem, right?

    Apple can just use a different design, like other manufacturers; The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X doesn't infringe, for example. Neither does the Siemens C10.

     

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    Art, Sep 9th, 2012 @ 7:46pm

    patents are for morons.

     

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