updated 03:10 pm EDT, Tue April 22, 2008
iPhone clone crackdown
Apple is coming down hard on UK vendors of iPhone clones, reports say. Most such clones are produced in China, where copyright law is less restrictive and an imported iPhone is too expensive for all but the upper classes; the clones nevertheless attempt to reproduce superficial features of the iPhone, in some cases including Apple's own logo. As a result of these problems Apple is said to be pursuing legal action against a variety of UK importers, such as Digital Playworld.
The company recently reached a settlement with in Apple in order to avoid a potentially bankrupting lawsuit, over what Apple considers a violation of its Community Registered Design. The similarity between the clones and the real product is said to be "striking," according to an Apple letter, creating the same "overall impression." Apple claims that this is confirmed by terms used on the Playworld website, such as "iPhone style," "in the style of the iPhone," and "looks very like the iPhone."
Playworld's managing director says that under the settlement, he must not only remove all items considered clones from his website, but promise to avoid any more clones in the future, and inform Apple of who supplied the original devices and how much was paid for them. Money has also been paid to cover damages and legal expenses.