Chinese clone maker wants to sue Apple over iPhone 5 design

GooPhone, the Chinese company behind an Android phone designed to resemble leaked iPhone 5 parts, is now planning to sue Apple if the finalized device actually ends up looking like their phone.

GooPhone released their shameless Android-based rip-off of leaked iPhone 5 prototypes, the GooPhone i5, to Chinese markets last week. In their minds, this means that they went to market with the design before Apple, and that if the iPhone 5 actually does end up looking like the leaks that we've seen so far, then Apple is copying them. Talk about twisted logic, but then again, this is China.

It'll be interesting to see if this suit actually does go anywhere. But before we even come to that, it all depends on whether the iPhone 5 - or whatever Apple decides to call it - actually resembles the leaks that we've seen so far, and whether or not GooPhone is willing to go all in on their crazy plan. Whatever happens, it's going to be hilarious to watch. Can these copyright battles get any crazier?

Via: Gizmodo

Source: Giz-China | Images via GooPhone

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Apple has never publicly released an image showing the iPhone 5, or any design drawings/blueprints have they?
This is soo shady, I wasn't aware how corrupt the Chinese were in regards to copyright and patent issues. Saying that, I don't care what will happen to Apple because of this, they have bigger things to worry about.

If this Chinese company wins can they only ban the sale/take money from sale of the iPhone 5 in China? Or could it potentially be pushed to a global ban/royalty?

@Tyler Holman
"Talk about twisted logic, but then again, this is China."

Twisted logic? Yes.
But you are wrong when at this level, you put China in front. Capitalism exists everywhere, and like patents, the end-buyer always is the loser.

Utterly ridiculous. I hope they do try and sue them, and then watch as Apple rip them to shreds.

Besides, what would China have to gain by trying to screw Apple? Chinese companies must do billions worth of dollars of sales for all the components and devices they build for Apple and as a country it would absolutely not be in their interest to lose or even disrupt that business.

And really - anyone who thinks this is funny, or "just deserts" for Apple needs to take their rose-tinted fanboy specs off and get a sense of perspective.

Chicane-UK said,
Utterly ridiculous. I hope they do try and sue them, and then watch as Apple rip them to shreds.

Besides, what would China have to gain by trying to screw Apple? Chinese companies must do billions worth of dollars of sales for all the components and devices they build for Apple and as a country it would absolutely not be in their interest to lose or even disrupt that business.

And really - anyone who thinks this is funny, or "just deserts" for Apple needs to take their rose-tinted fanboy specs off and get a sense of perspective.

Apple won't nor can do anything, that's China we're talking about, secondly the "goophone - really?" is already released so Apple can say they had a "prototype" drawn out but that doesn't really count in this case in China. Secondly, I ain't no fanboy, I couldn't care less about Apple nor Samsung but Apple had this coming to them.

Apple designs leaked, Chinese company copies them.
Chinese company sues over final iPhone 5 and is likely to win due to crappy Chinese law.
Final iPhone comes out looking nothing like leak.
Chinese company can't sue.
Chinese company then releases copy of final iPhone.
Apple sues Chinese company over copyright.
Chinese company wins due to crappy Chinese law.

...and the circle goes on and on and on and on...

The greedy ALWAYS fall. Back in the early 80's I was wishing we had standardized on Apple. But for the last decade or so I've been glad we didn't. The best way to handle this is open source. Make your money on good programs, not on the operating system. Get out of the Fed's bed.

mrlihang said,
The greedy ALWAYS fall. Back in the early 80's I was wishing we had standardized on Apple. But for the last decade or so I've been glad we didn't. The best way to handle this is open source. Make your money on good programs, not on the operating system. Get out of the Fed's bed.

You still believe every currentyear+1 is the year of the linux right?
OSS is great for some projects to be taken care of properly. But allot arent
Development is slow (often bricklike) progress is falling behind, allot. And many, many projects get abandoned before ever reaching beyond any form of BETA stage.
I like OSS, I support OSS, and I develop OSS... but it has its serious flaws and you're an idiot for basing a whole cooperation/organization on OSS, IMHO.

Shadowzz said,
You still believe every currentyear+1 is the year of the linux right?

Of course it is...
Maybe not Linux on a PC but just look at the massive user base Android has now on phones & tablets. Everyday consumers won't know that it is Linux based, or even that it is open source - they just want something that works.
Chromebooks haven't taken off yet, but they are a great example of a linux based consumer portable computer - there will be more like this over the next 2 years.

Sounds exactly like what Apple did to Sammy. They got to makret first and the prior art in prototypes didnt count. Same thing here but roles reversed. Good on the Chinese, a taste of their own medicine is in order, even better do it in a Chinese show court even though they are not based in China as Samsung was pulled into a US show court even though they are not based in the US

I'm an American Born Chinese, but this merits a huge LOL. Seriously...China needs to start innovating on its own and stop ripping other people off.

Companies like this are what Apple should be focusing on. But since these companies are not making much of a profit, Apple ignores them.

I don't see much difference from apples oh look at that, that's a good idea its so obvious that no one has bothered to patent it, let patent it and sue all the companies that are using it.

I hate it when people say Apple can't innovate. If they're not making great products, why does everyone else try to copy them? Hillarious article!

theignorant1 said,
I hate it when people say Apple can't innovate. If they're not making great products, why does everyone else try to copy them? Hillarious article!

I think the suggestion by those people would be that Apple market their products very well which makes them desirable - desirability has very little to do with innovation, if it did then the iPhone wouldn't be the most desirable phone on the market.

theignorant1 said,
I hate it when people say Apple can't innovate. If they're not making great products, why does everyone else try to copy them? Hillarious article!

I am still waiting for ohio art to sue apple for ripping off their designs to make the ipad

lt8480 said,

I think the suggestion by those people would be that Apple market their products very well which makes them desirable - desirability has very little to do with innovation, if it did then the iPhone wouldn't be the most desirable phone on the market.


You're kidding me, Apple has and will have more innovative idea's, techonologies and solutions then you and I ever will

Let me get this straight in my head, they're suing Apple if the phone that they copied looks like the phone that they copied?

McKay said,
Let me get this straight in my head, they're suing Apple if the phone that they copied looks like the phone that they copied?

that is the same thing I was thinking, and seeing as its still the same design as the iphone 4/4s with only a larger screen and different back plate how can they say Apple stole the design from them.

Chinese companies are renowned for having no respect for copyright laws at all, bare faced cheek but I still think it's hilarious cos Apple can't innovate only leglislate.

PsYcHoKiLLa said,
Chinese companies are renowned for having no respect for copyright laws at all, bare faced cheek but I still think it's hilarious cos Apple can't innovate only leglislate.

And yet no one had an iPhone until Apple built one. Sorry, I had to say it

THolman said,

And yet no one had an iPhone until Apple built one. Sorry, I had to say it

Yeah, but the iPhone was obviously obvious....no?

Heard of the Darwin Awards? I predict GooPhone will be winning one soon, as they'll probably get counter-sued into oblivion.

Not really, but it would be nice to see, as I can't stand Chinese companies blatantly ripping off western products (be they phones, game consoles, or cars) and getting away with it.

Yes they are doing bad thing indeed. However, it's the West's fault for sending their production over to China for cheap labors. You are basically handing over the design of your products to China.

MightyJordan said,
Heard of the Darwin Awards? I predict GooPhone will be winning one soon, as they'll probably get counter-sued into oblivion.

Not really, but it would be nice to see, as I can't stand Chinese companies blatantly ripping off western products (be they phones, game consoles, or cars) and getting away with it.

MDboyz said,
Yes they are doing bad thing indeed. However, it's the West's fault for sending their production over to China for cheap labors. You are basically handing over the design of your products to China.


we know the risks of sending our production there, they just rip the designs we hand them. Our copyright laws hold no legal backing what so freaking ever in China, always has been and always will be. Want legal backing, get your invention or product registered in China and not just register it in the US and think it'll be fine for the entire world... ITS NOT
China's IP has no legal backing in the US either... murmbles something about 2 teeth and 2 eyes.

If this happens Apple will lose, this is the country that blatantly rips off design ideas for cars like BMW, theyve tried take em to court and never win. China is corrupt to hell and they will take whatever they wont. there aint no such thing as patents there really, where they could be but as soon as say appl egoto court thease patents probably head straight for the shredder lol

psionicinversion said,
If this happens Apple will lose, this is the country that blatantly rips off design ideas for cars like BMW, theyve tried take em to court and never win. China is corrupt to hell and they will take whatever they wont. there aint no such thing as patents there really, where they could be but as soon as say appl egoto court thease patents probably head straight for the shredder lol

Just like Huawei and Cisco

According to Goo's picture, their camera is still on the left of the earpiece. Not from the leaks I saw.......


So it's OK to steal and then sue the company you stole from as long as you're teaching that company, a company suing others that have stolen/infringed from them, a lesson?

I don't care what company you're in bed with, that's just messed up.

.Neo said,
Got to admire their guts.

It's like a textbook definition of chutzpah...

"that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."

They won't get far when they have clearly just ripped off leaked designs. Apple would of patented the device design before they even copied it, so it doesn't count.

xstex said,
They won't get far when they have clearly just ripped off leaked designs. Apple would of patented the device design before they even copied it, so it doesn't count.


going from the picture on the web site there buttons are the same, the charging port,app icons,

apple would win over here, goophone would win in china


if you look at there other phone on that site you'll see a GALAXY SIII clone

xstex said,
They won't get far when they have clearly just ripped off leaked designs. Apple would of patented the device design before they even copied it, so it doesn't count.

Probably not. I am sure they have patents pending, but once the patent is approved it becomes public record and Apple can't have that with their top secret designs.

xstex said,
They won't get far when they have clearly just ripped off leaked designs. Apple would of patented the device design before they even copied it, so it doesn't count.

If they patented the design in China, then yes. But as far as I know, they only patented the design in America.

Ambroos said,
Apple could just counter-sue and easily win.

Not necessarily, this isn't in Cali, this is in China, the deck is stacked against them there

Ambroos said,
Apple could just counter-sue and easily win.

I think Apple isn't particularly popular in China? I could be wrong but yeah, it's different than here for sure.

laserfloyd said,

I think Apple isn't particularly popular in China? I could be wrong but yeah, it's different than here for sure.


Well their products certainly are. Just ask the kid that sold his kidney for an iPhone and iPad.

z0phi3l said,

Not necessarily, this isn't in Cali, this is in China, the deck is stacked against them there

China doesn't want Apple to move their production to another country.. China is fine with their companies stealing after the fact, but if they start stopping them before hand, then you'll find the mood of the judges change fast..

Ryoken said,
China doesn't want Apple to move their production to another country.. China is fine with their companies stealing after the fact, but if they start stopping them before hand, then you'll find the mood of the judges change fast..

They already have some production in Vietnam. They could go to Thailand, India, Kenya, Botswana... if those democratic reforms get traction, Burma's starting to sound good.