[UPDATE July 19, 2011 8:10 Eastern]: The article has been updated with a comment from Samsung included at the bottom. In addition, an Asian Economy story establishing family bonds between the case maker’s CEO and Samsung’s chairman, provided in the comments, has been added.

Apple is suing “the copyist” Samsung because they “imitate the appearance of Apple’s products to capitalize on Apple’s success”. Be that as it may, the similarities between the two tech giant’s gadgets are nothing compared to what other Asian knockoffs are doing for a living. Like Anymode Corp., which is in the business of designing, manufacturing and selling a blatant Smart Cover rip-off, pictured above and below. Conveniently dubbed the Smart Case – obviously because Apple trademarked it – the accessory comes in five pastel color choices. It too can prop a tablet upwards and it folds like Apple’s accessory as well. The Smart Case is designed exclusively for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 – and not by a coincidence, warns our reader Jun.

Apparently Sang-yong Kim, the Anymode CEO, was “born in Samsung family”. Jun tells us – and you’re free to take it at face value – that the Anymode CEO “is nephew of the Samsung’s chairman Kun-Hee Lee“, the claim we were unable to verify at the time of this writing. UPDATE: This Asian Economy article establishes family bonds between Sang-yong Kim and Kun-Hee Lee. The 69-year old chairman of Samsung Electronics stepped down in April 2008 amid the Slush funds scandal, but returned at the group’s helm in March of last year. He is credited for improving the quality of Samsung’s design and products. Anymode is not even attempting to conceal the Samsung link. The company describes itself on a LinkedIn page as…

…a privately held firm founded in Korea in 2007, with “strong affiliation with Samsung Electronics for key accessories supplier globally”. And with strong business partnership with Samsung Electronics, “business has been grow rapidly and becoming one of fastest growing company that covers international retail channels with key distributors world-wide”, their business profile on LinkedIn boasts. Youngbo Engineering is Anymode’s parent company where Sang-yong Kim is also president and CEO. Youngbo too provides solutions for Samsung, including mobile phone accessories such as earphones, batteries, Bluetooth items and other products, a BusinessWeek profile has established. Furthermore, reader Jun explains, Anymode is selling its products in Samsung’s A/S center all over Korea. One final thing: Samsung has apparently certified the Smart Case, as evident in the use of official branding in the two bottom shots. Somebody call Apple legal…

UPDATE 1: Following 9to5Mac’s story, Samsung Electronics on its official blog acknowledged that the Smart Case has been pulled from the Anymode sales web site due to an “oversight” in approving the “Designed for Samsung Mobile” mark. Samsung did not certify Anymode’s Smart Case and the product has not been sold, the statement reads:

As a general practice, Samsung Electronics reviews and approves all accessories produced by partners before they are given the “Designed for Samsung Mobile” mark. In this case, approval was not given to Anymode for the accessory to feature this official designation. We are working with Anymode to address this oversight and the product has already been removed from the Anymode sales website. The product has not been sold.

UPDATE 2: A reader translated a paragraph from the aforementioned Asian Economy article divulging family ties:

Sang-yong Kim, CEO of the Anymode Corp., is the first son of Son-hee Lee, the third daughter of former Samsung’s chairman Beoung-chul, Lee. He ran the company through selling the Samsung mobile phone’s accessories and is also nephew of current chairman Gun-hee, Lee and in relation as a cousin of Jae-young, Lee, CEO of the Samsung Electronics.



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