Apple's iPhone 6 may face patent dispute from Chinese vendor with look-alike device

Digione has sent a letter to Apple claiming that the iPhone 6 may infringe on its design patent in China

The phone from Digione's 100+ brand.

The phone from Digione's 100+ brand.

Few have probably heard about Digione, but one of the Chinese company's latest products looks quite similar to the iPhone 6, and could potentially spark a patent dispute with Apple.

The little-known Chinese smartphone maker revealed Monday it sent a letter to Apple in September, claiming that the iPhone 6 may infringe on a company-registered patent.

The patent in question covers a mobile phone design that features an exterior look very similar to the iPhone 6's. Digione's subsidiary applied for the patent in January and the company was granted the patent in July, according to China's State Intellectual Property Office.

To publicize the issue, Digione's smartphone brand 100+ took to a social networking site Monday and posted the letter it had sent to Apple.

"We believe that a communication with goodwill would contribute to solving potential legal disputes," the letter said.

The issue, however, is still unresolved, and the company wanted a "chance to tell the truth," according to its post on Chinese social-networking site Sina Weibo.

Apple did not immediately respond for comment.

Unlike the iPhone 6, which starts at 5288 yuan (US$863) in China, Digione's own smartphone under the 100+ brand is targeting the low end, with a starting price at 799 yuan. The product also has a much larger screen, at 5.5 inches, and runs an 8-core processor from MediaTek, along with a modified version of Android from Chinese search giant Baidu.

Chinese vendors are somewhat notorious for selling cheap knockoffs of iPhones. Years ago the devices were widely sold in local electronics markets and some can still be found.

It's not the first time Apple has faced legal troubles from Chinese companies contending that the U.S. tech giant has broken the law. In 2012, Apple paid US$60 million for ownership of the iPad trademark in China, after a domestic firm called Proview claimed to still own it.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleconsumer electronicsintellectual propertypatentiPhonelegalsmartphonesDigione

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?