You’ll need to put your best thinking cap on before tackling this one: That Chinese firm responsible for the iPhone-clone-esque tablet PC, that predated the iPad by several months, is crazy angry at Apple for copying them. And may sue.
Read that again. Get it? Okay, I’ll try again: A company unashamedly rips-off Apple’s iPhone design and look-and-feel and bolts it into a Windows tablet PC that’s technically not too dissimilar from other similar tablet PCs. Apple then releases the iPad–a device that’s been in the making, on and off, for over 20 years, and which builds on Apple’s already wildly successful device designs (mostly the iPhone). The Chinese firm accuses Apple of copying it’s design, and threatens to sue if Apple tries to sell iPads in China.
The news has surfaced over at Shanghaiist again, where they even have a quote from apparently incensed president of the Shenzen Great Long Brother Industrial company, Wu Xiaolong: “I was very angry and flabbergasted when I saw the news of the iPad presentation two days ago… It is certainly our design. They’ve stolen because we present our P88 to everyone six months ago at the IFA [in Berlin].”
Erm, Wu? It’s not your design, mate. Your P88 looks just like a bloody big iPhone, running XP, and with an absolutely dreadful battery life. You may well have patented it in China (or at least you’ve begun that lengthy process) but I suspect Apple’s patents are teeny bit more reliable on this front. And thank goodness you’re admitting you “must follow the law,” but I have to say that if you do go ahead and “sue them this Spring” if Apple sells iPads in China, then you’re going to look like a right twit. If you’d come up with a totally original, compelling and consumer-exciting tablet all of your own design, then you’d probably not have anything to be so angry about. And we wouldn’t have this intractable Gordian Knot of a who-designed-what-first patent problem to think about on a lazy Friday afternoon.