Apple Inc. iPhone 6 May Infringe On Chinese Company’s Patent

There’s yet another problem for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the iPhone 6. This time it comes in the form of a patent fight with a relatively unknown Chinese smartphone maker. Digione sells a device that looks like the iPhone 6 and claims Apple’s smartphone infringes upon one of the patents it holds.

Patent war pending over the iPhone 6?

PC World reports that the patent Digione is questioning focuses on a particular design for a mobile phone. The exterior of the device looks a lot like that of the iPhone 6. The State Intellectual Property Office in China granted the Chinese company a patent for the design in July. Digione initially applied for the design patent in January.

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The company said on Monday that it sent a letter to Apple in September. The company’s brand 100+ then posted that letter on the Chinese micro-blogging platform Sina Weibo on Monday. The letter requests a “communication of goodwill,” saying that the company believes it “would contribute to solving potential legal disputes.”

Patent issue still unresolved

At this point though, Apple has apparently not settled the issue with Digione, which is why the Chinese company made the dispute public through Chinese social media.

Chinese smartphone makers are known for making devices that look like Apple products but cost a small fraction of the price. The iPhone 6 starts out at 5,288 yuan in China. However, Digione’s 100+ branded smartphone targets the low end of the smartphone market, with prices starting at 799 yuan.

Also Digione’s smartphone has a 5.5-inch display, compared to the iPhone 6’s 4.7-inch display. The Digione’s phone runs an octa-core processor made by MediaTek and a modified Android version.

Of course this isn’t the first time a Chinese company has alleged that Apple violated one of its patents. In 2012, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company doled out $60 million to buy the iPad trademark in China. Chinese company Proview said it still owned that trademark.