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Apple blamed for “stealing” design of Chinese iPhone 6 cloner

With fame, comes the blame game! This goes quite true with Apple Inc. which has faced legal troubles related to patents all these years. The latest one being from a little-known Chinese smartphone making company – for apparently “copying their patent design”!

If claims are to be believed, iPhone 6 bears an uncanny similarity with the much lesser known Chinese smartphone company Digione’s 100+ V6.

And ofcourse, at a price much lower than its premium sibling! The 100+ V6, a smartphone brand owned by Chinese company Digione, starts at 799 yuan, or $129. And off-contract iPhone 6 would cost at least $600.

The similarities between the iPhone 6 and 100+ V6 are uncanny, and Digione isn’t happy about it. 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 on 1st December 2014 that 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.

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 $60 million for ownership of the iPad trademark in China, after a domestic firm called Proview claimed to still own it.

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