Oh, my! Intellectual property rights work both ways. If true, you can bet there is smoke coming out of ears at Apple.
Apple may have just lost a key battle in China before they even began to fight it.
A report by Chinese electronics site GizChina claims that a company called GooPhoneboasted that it has obtained a Chinese patent on the design of Apple’s iPhone 5, taken fromleaked photos of the device that were published online.
Their phone, the GooPhone i5, will reportedly ship with Android 4.0 and some pretty capable hardware, including a quad-core 1.4Ghz processor, an 8 mega-pixel camera, a high-def screen and even an Android desktop theme designed to look just like an iPhone’s characteristic layout.The Raw Story
GooPhone is one of many Chinese electronics knockoff-makers that have gotten especially good at their mimicry in recent years, but if it’s true that they’ve obtained a patent on the iPhone 5′s design before Apple even announced it, that could give them leverage in the courts — possibly even enough to challenge Apple’s right to sell its device in the country.
And while the GooPhone i5 is clearly an abuse of the Chinese patent system and a case of brazen theft of intellectual property, it’s not clear if Apple would overcome such a challenge, or if a victory would even shut GooPhone down.
Chinese knockoff artists patent iPhone 5 design before Apple: report
Stephen C. Webster