You may remember the GooPhone i5 from last week. The phone featured a design that was similar to the rumored design of the iPhone 5. Most, including yours truly, dismissed it as another interesting Chinese knock off. It seems that GooPhone doesn't see it that way.
GizChina is reporting that GooPhone claims to have a patent on the iPhone 5's design in China. Well, they have a patent on their design, but it's remarkably similar to the rumored design of the iPhone 5. When released in China, it might be hard to tell the two apart. GooPhone is apparently betting on that to be the case and will be ready to bring a patent lawsuit against Apple.
It's hard to say exactly how successful GooPhone would be in protecting their "patent" in a court of law, but precedent is clearly in their favor. Chinese electronics company Proview fought Apple over the iPad trademark for months, but eventually settled to the tune of $60 million. It will be interesting to see Apple's reaction if GooPhone really does sue them over the iPhone 5's design.
Realistically speaking, it's highly unlikely that Apple would be caught off guard by GooPhone's accusations. They most likely have all the major design points of the iPhone 5 patented and ready to go for any potential legal battles. At best, GooPhone might be able to convince a few people that they're selling a cheaper version of the iPhone 5.
Here's an unintentionally hilarious video that compares the GooPhone i5 with the iPhone 4S from the folks at GizChina: