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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Appleconsumer electronicsintellectual propertypatentiPhonelegalsmartphonesDigione

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 Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?