When it comes to protecting its intellectual property, Apple is known to have an aggressive approach, fiercely defending what is rightfully theirs. However, it seems that over the past few months the company has loosened up, and we’ve seen such companies as Xiaomi copy pretty much all they could. Even Nokia couldn’t resist to the iPad Mini design. But while everybody seems to be copying Apple these days, there’s a company that claims it was Apple who stole their property.
Funny or not, Chinese smartphone maker Digione is claiming Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus copy the design of its own smartphone line, according to a recent story from MacWorld. The company has published a letter online that was originally sent to Apple back in September. Thus, Digione wants to make them aware that the latest iPhones might infringe on a patent it was granted in July by China’s State Intellectual Property Office.
Digione sells its smartphone under the 100+ brand in China as a low-end device that costs around $130. The handset features the same a 5.5-inch display as the iPhone 6 Plus and runs Android. It also comes in a selection of colors similar to the latest iPhone color options, which were first introduced with the iPhone 5s in 2013.
It seems that the Chinese company filed for its patent application back in January before it was granted in the summer of this year. Digione said that it hopes “communication with goodwill would contribute to solving potential legal disputes.”
What’s funny and could serve as a hint that Digione is a patent troll is the fact that the design covered in Digione’s patent appears to be a generic design when removing the color options similar to iPhone. Not to mention that the sales page for the Digione device are obviously influenced by Apple’s own website design.
However, Apple has faced legal troubles before from Chinese companies. Back in 2012, Apple paid $60 million for ownership of the iPad trademark in China, after a domestic company called Proview claimed to still own it.
At the moment, it’s not quite sure how Digione was able to come up in early January of this year with a product that is similar to the current iPhone line-up, because I really don’t believe that it was Apple who did the copying. The little-known Chinese company could’ve relied just on leaks or it might have some inside connections with Foxconn employees. It will be interesting to see if they will ‘have the guts’ to sue Apple.