Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Copy-Cat devices

The news about Meizu booth at CeBIT closed down by German authority has brought a little bit of sparks on law debate of copy-cat devices that are happening in the mobile market ever since long ago. Even though the Meizu closed booth was temporary and actually caused by its MP3 player patent infringement, read on the story here. These counterfeits products that are clearly copying the original devices can’t be denied as a mere small product anymore. It starts with Chinese manufacturers were trying to make a quick and sure money by copy the design from the well known brands of mobile vendors, even the colors and shape are strikingly very similar. It all seems like the manufacturers in China who got orders from mobile vendors, are making their own brand with the designs given to them (many of the well known world mobile vendors have already made all of their devices in China’s factories, because of the low labor wage and cheap export policies there).
Yes, it’s cheesy and breaks many international patent laws; but the Chinese governments are closing their eyes on such case and looks like they’re giving them enough support to do so. But you’ll be surprise on how well these copy-cat devices are made, not only the exterior shell but also the OS is almost reach the same level with the original ones. Like Meizu’s miniOne (M8) that has little different designs from famous Apple’s iPhone, this is a fine example on how knock-off devices are finding their way to legal acknowledgement. There hasn’t been any official complain neither from Apple, nor from US FCC yet.
Here are some fine examples that you can see from PhoneArena article, there are good pictures to show how the Chinese manufacturers even didn’t bothered to change the designs and the name! Like the picture on the left where you can see the Nokia N73 is copied and they only changed the Nokir letter… Even the concept model: Nokia Aeon is copied and sold in the black market, it’s merged on eBay auction and caused a lot of confusion whether the device is really from Nokia or not.If just those Chinese manufacturers try to create their own brand, I’m sure it’ll be no problem for them to compete with other world mobile vendors. Because they already have the technology and all they need is a new design and marketing campaign. And perhaps a better packaging as well, I once had a gift from China and the package was awfully modest; made me felt less want to use the device. How long all of these counterfeits going to last, or maybe the exact line is how long until we finally use them instead of the original ones?

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