Apple’s legal teams are closing down unauthorised manufacturers of iPhone clones, applying the full extent of the company’s legal protections to protect its market.
It appears firms are both supplying iClones to the Chinese market and distributing them into markets outside of China.
Under no choice but to protect its trademarks, Apple is forcing them to stop with heavy threats. Apple is hitting them with the abuse of patents, passing off and similarity between the iPhone and the products the cloners are putting out.
Apple’s serious about closing iCloners down. The company is reportedly demanding they cease manufacturing and distribution of these non-Apple products, requiring they hand over any stock in hand, supply supplier details and is demanding contributions toward legal expenses, as well as damages.
At least one unlicensed iCloner complains Apple’s actions have sent them into bankruptcy (though quite why they felt making iPhone clones was a valid business plan in the first place escapes us here).
A report explains Apple’s legal action against one iCloner, Digital Playworld. In order to avoid an expensive court case, that company’s Simon Rimmer reached an out of court deal: "I had to take several undertakings, which included amongst other things: Remove all said items from my site (or any other sites) and stop selling them. Sign an oath that I would not offer to sell, market, import or stock any products which are strikingly similar in design to Apple’s registered designs. Deliver to Apple’s legal team all remaining products in my possession, suppliers details, prices paid for them, numbers imported, marketed and sold." Rimmer had to contribute to Apple’s legal expenses and damages.