Chinese Maker of iPhone 5 Knockoff Threatens to Sue Apple

Here’s a story that’s so crazy that I checked to make sure it wasn’t written by The Onion.

Do you recall all those leaked iPhone parts from the past few months? One Chinese phone maker was inspired to release their own knockoff of the new iPhone, and it hit the market last week. The Goophone i5 device runs Android, and while it doesn’t look all that much like the new iPhone, it does have one truly odd quirk.

According to Chinese sources, Goophone is claiming to already have a patent on the design. They’re threatening to sue Apple if the iPhone 5 is released in China. Yes, the copycat is threatening to sue the original designer. If that doesn’t make you giggle at the absurdity of some types of IP law, I don’t know what will.

But in all honesty, I don’t see how Goophone could have gotten a patent this quickly. While there’s a chance they bribed someone, I’m not sure their claim is real or that it would stand up in court. In the US, at least, Goophone would likely loose. All the leaked iPhone parts would qualify as prior art, IMO, and thus disprove Goophone’s claim that their work was original.