GooPhone To Sue Apple Over The GooPhone i5′s Patented Design?
Remember the GooPhone i5? GooPhone is a company which releases knockoffs of the iPhone as well as popular Android handsets. The GooPhone Y5 was a clone of the iPhone 4S, down to the Retina display and their iOS-style makeover of the Android OS. The i5 appears to be a reskin of the Y5, modelled after leaked parts for Apple’s upcoming iPhone.
If you were running a shady counterfeit company and had a product on the market before the original was officially acknowledged to exist, what would you do? If you said “patent the knockoff and threaten to sue if the original ever sells in China”, you would be right. (I tip my hat to Farids, in the comments section on the original article.) GizChina reported that GooPhone claims to have patented the design of the i5 within China.
In a court case, Apple would undoubtedly have the evidence to support the fact that they designed the device (not to mention the fact that the GooPhone i5 also resembles the iPhone 4S and copies the iOS operating system), so what’s GooPhone’s plan? The way I see it, there are two obvious possibilities:
Option A is to delay Apple from releasing the next iPhone in China for as long as possible. Sure, Apple should eventually win the court case, but it will take time. In that time GooPhone will be available domestically, while the next iPhone could be blocked from store shelves depending on how the courts rule.
Option B is to settle with Apple, granting the Cupertino-based company rights to use the ‘i5′ design in China. This way Apple gets to release their phone in China right away and the copycats get a massive cashout.
Of course, Apple could always call GooPhone’s bluff and take the company to court. There’s enough imitation of Apple’s existing products within the i5 that I can’t see any court siding with GooPhone for long. A lawsuit might even draw unwanted legal attention to the counterfeit phones. This is why I think GooPhone has another plan:
Option C is to sit on the claim that their phone came out first when Apple releases the iPhone, to ensure they don’t get sued. GooPhone could be hoping their claim of ‘first!’ muddies the facts enough that Apple’s lawyers won’t want to get involved with GooPhone in court, unless pressed to.
A video of the GooPhone Y5′s UI. A blatant copy of BlackBerry 10.
It all depends on how confident GooPhone is in their place within the Chinese legal system. Do they think they can win, give Apple a black eye, or just be enough of a pain for Apple to steer clear of them?
What do you think GooPhone is planning? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.