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iPhone 5 clone maker to sue Apple over, um, iPhone 5 patent?

A report suggests that GooPhone, the Hong Kong-based company that created an Android iPhone 5 knock-off, has patented the design in China and will aggressively protect it.

Look. It's just so very original.
Gizmodo China/YouTube Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I am frightfully excited about the iPhone 5.

I am excited because I hope it will look nothing like the iPhone 5 images and alleged prototypes that have been tossed around by rumormongers -- and will therefore be exciting.

Yet just as my excitement reaches the boundaries of human safety, along comes a report that suggests Apple might be sued over the iPhone 5's design.

Yes, sued.

You see, someone has allegedly already patented the rumormongered design in China. That someone is iPhone 5 knock-off maker GooPhone.

Should the current political convention season have driven you into living in your nuclear shelter, you might have missed that GooPhone released an Android "iPhone 5" just a few days ago.

This thing physically resembles some of the rumor-pushers' revelations. It just has a little nosy robot on the back, rather than an apple.

Yet now Gizmodo China, as well as its sisterhood in the U.S. are suggesting that GooPhone has taken out a patent on the design in China and will sue Apple if its own iPhone 5 resembles the Gooey one.

This is surely quite frightening.

It's not as if Apple loves lawsuits, especially patent lawsuits. The company does everything it can to avoid them. I know this to be true.

For it to be subject to a patent lawsuit -- because of a phone of its very own patently unique design -- would be a tragedy akin to going for a pedicure and having one's toenails removed because they have the same shape as the pedicurist's.

GooPhone's alleged argument is that its phone came out first. Ergo, the design is theirs. Which has a certain perverse logic that one could imagine a lawyer for the Camorra making.

Still, the legal liberties of the world are anything but free. And China is such a very important market for Apple, now that the company is so very large and ubiquitous.

Many will surely hope that the GooPhone folks will have stepped in goo of their own making when they see just what a magical and revolutionary-looking thing the real iPhone 5 will be when it's unveiled next week.

Keep telling yourself. The iPhone 5 will not look like the GooPhone.