GooPhone Claims To Have Already Patented The Next iPhone’s Design, Will Ban Sales In China

GooPhone Claims To Have Already Patented The Next iPhone’s Design, Will Ban Sales In China

Do you remember the GooPhone i5? It sounded like something you’d buy at a joke shop that would spurt some odious fluid down the inner cochlea of an unsuspecting victim who held it up to his ear, but it was actually a wonderfully brazen knock-off of the upcoming sixth-generation iPhone.

And hilariously, this pre-emptive copycat is already threatening to sue Apple over the iPhone 5, claiming to have patented the design.

The GooPhone i5 is pretty much your stock Chinese clone device of the most current iPhone. At first blush, it kind of looks similar to the iPhone, but it has inferior internals and runs Android 4.1 Jellybean instead of iOS.

The difference, though, is that unlike most Chinese knock-offs, the makers of the GooPhone i5 managed to announce their device before Apple announced the new iPhone. They managed to do this because, compared to past iPhones, the appearance and design of the 2012 iPhone has been leaked months ahead of time all across the interne, giving the company ample time to swipe.

In other words, just because they got out a working product first doesn’t mean they didn’t steal the GooPhone’s design from Apple. But tricksy, tricksy GooPhone is claiming that the opposite is true, and that they’ve already patented the GooPhone’s design in China, giving them the right to block the next iPhone from being sold in the country once it’s released.

This seems like promotional bluster, but they may actually have a case: Chinese company Proview was able to successfully blackmail Apple out of $60 million over the “iPad” trademark.

Even so, it’s hard to imagine how the GooPhone’s design could be patented, and if it is patented, how it could be applied successfully against the next iPhone. For one, although both have similar shapes, Apple owns patents on the iPhone’s general shape going back years, and that patent is enforceable at least in the United States, as Samsung recently discovered to their peril. In addition, the GooPhone i5 has completely different dimensions than the next iPhone, and the two-toned back on the GooPhone is just for show, where as on the next iPhone it’s most likely an integrated part of the handset’s antenna design.

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  • murdocke

    Chinese try to ruin everything 1st the olympics then the paralympics now they’re trying to ruin an iPhone launch (sort of) *dreams of a world without china* lol.

  • SamuelBrock

    murdocke wtf?

    I say BS, Apple can display “prior art” and we’ll see more iPhone prototypes. If GooPhone does sue, Apple will probably counter-sue for violating other iPhone patents.

  • The_Truth_Hurts

    he he he he he.

    So how does some of your own medicine taste Apple? You want to ban devices that are a (black) slab that have round corners. Eventually someone is going to ban your products because you “copied” them.

    But I guess it’s completely different for you, right…?

  • kavok

    I will laugh if all the leaked pictures end up not being the next iPhone. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Apple was intentionally using it as a decoy to keep everyone from seeing what the next phone is going to be.

  • Sean Shamus McCabe

    The_Truth_Hurts it’s painfully obvious that you only read the headline and not the article. Try reading everything before making comments, just saying!

  • coolman1081

    he he he he he.

    So how does some of your own medicine taste Apple? You want to ban devices that are a (black) slab that have round corners. Eventually someone is going to ban your products because you “copied” them.

    But I guess it’s completely different for you, right…?

    Your a dumb ass, this is the same situation as the Apple v Samsung suit, but they managed to release theirs first.

  • coolman1081

    Huh. Apple could easily argue that there isn’t enought time to copy the GooPhone design, if they finally present the iPhone 5 on 12 September. It’s stupid to think you can copy a design, create an assembly line and make millions of iPhones with the “stolen” design in less than a month.

    And if this is the real design, and they’ve been working on it since the iPhone 4. Then they’ll have a whole slew of proof that it was an original design. I mean if it’s the design that they’ve been working on, then they’ll have emails, and memos are early designs going back to late-2010.

  • coolman1081
    I will laugh if all the leaked pictures end up not being the next iPhone. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Apple was intentionally using it as a decoy to keep everyone from seeing what the next phone is going to be.

    Wouldn’t surprise me either.

  • ddevito

    Even I find this hilarious and ridiculous

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    he he he he he.

    So how does some of your own medicine taste Apple? You want to ban devices that are a (black) slab that have round corners. Eventually someone is going to ban your products because you “copied” them.

    But I guess it’s completely different for you, right…?

    You must be a baby to be so naive to believe that Apple copied this cheap, Chinese knock-off company. Unlike the Apple-Samsung situation where internal Google documents telling Samsung to get off Apple’s d__k.

  • JorgeMaat

    I’m still skeptical about this design. Remember last year’s rumors of the tear drop shaped phone with elongated home button? We all know what happened afterwards.

  • assyrianpride

    wtf is this?

  • Bob Smogango

    What would be hilarious is the iPhone 5 mockups weren’t the actual product. I would crack up if that was the case.

    I don’t know if they would win since these mockups were publicized before hand. Maybe that’s why Apple didn’t take them down, just to let people know this is coming so if anyone copies it, they have some proof that their product was actually designed first.

    From what I know about patent laws, once a product gets shown publicly before a patent is submitted, it isn’t supposed to be patentable. Obviously, I’m not attorney nor know if there are any caveats to the various types of patents. There are a lot of things pertaining to patent law. Either way, this blatent copying that certain Asian companies do is just wrong.

    The musical instrument industry has been dealing with that too. Gibson, Fender, etc. have been trying to protect their instrument designs and there always seems some little Asian company trying to sell junk versions of their products.

    It’s a shame that some have to resort to these tactics in order to make money.

    SCREW ANDROID PHONES AND THE HORSE THEY RODE IN ON.

  • Bob Smogango

    This phone doesn’t look like the elongated 4 inch display case like the leaked iPhone 5 case designs.

  • Bob Smogango

    IF you go to Goophone’s website they have a front shot of the phone in this picture from the front and it looks like iOS, not Android.

    Something REAL fishy is going on.

  • SamqSimson

    just as Betty replied I’m dazzled that some one can make $6873 in 1 month on the computer. have you read this link (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/X98ky

  • hengsheng120

    haha Apple will never win under the laws of china!!

  • OccupyApple2012

    “Inferior Android OS”

    Apple Elitists crack me up.

    By the way, I made this account just to make this 1 comment, so don’t even bother replying with seething rage how I’m poor and screw you you can’t afford a mac go back to your proletariat PC.

  • Lance Dixon

    ..

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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