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Apple complaint halts sales of iPhone lookalike

Apple's lawyers have asked the Chinese patent authorities to shut down production and sales of the Meizu M8 smartphone, which was designed to look like the iPhone.

Meizu M8
The Meizu M8 Meizu

Remember the M8? It's a smartphone made by Chinese manufacturer Meizu that looks suspiciously like an iPhone. And it's about to become a rare commodity.

Meizu CEO Jack Wong posted on a Meizu forum that Apple's lawyers have convinced China's intellectual property office to shut down production of the M8 and ban the sale of existing devices because they bear too much similarity to Apple's phone.

Wong's quote (translated), according to Engadget:

Apple requested that we cease manufacturing the M8 this month, we agreed but then [Apple] came back and asked for a sales ban instead. I can cope with a production freeze, but not with having our shops closed and thus not being able to use up our inventory. If Apple and the provincial IPO take another insatiable step, I can only go head-to-head against them.

It's not really a shock to anyone--and shouldn't be to Wong--that a product whose premise is its similarity to another more successful product is going to be the subject of a patent complaint. Especially when that company is one as powerful as Apple. The surprise is that it's taken this long--Meizu has a history of building gadgets that look strikingly similar to those coming out of Cupertino.

But the M8 is just one of Meizu's products, and from the sound of it there are more in the making. That is, if the current production and sales ban doesn't put the company out of business first.