iPad Design Dispute and the Unintended Consequences of an Innovation Society

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Since Apple’s iPad debut last week, we’ve already had news of one potential IP lawsuit brought by a Chinese manufacturer. Shanghaiist was on the scene a few days ago, reporting that Shenzhen Great Long Brother Industrial Company (yes, that’s their name, stop snickering) was pissed off that its P88 resembled the iPad and that it was considering a lawsuit when the iPad comes to China.

No reason to comment on the merits of the case. The CEO of Great Long Brother would have us believe that after the P88 design was unveiled at a trade show six months ago, Apple copied the design and developed its product at breakneck pace. [my emphasis, to denote being flabbergasted]

Yeah, the guy sounds a bit kooky given the timing and specific design. As Wired has helpfully pointed out, “The P88 has been on the market in China for six months. Itís easy to recognize: it looks just like a big iPhone.”

But hey, isn’t this a triumph for the Innovation Society? This company obviously understands the importance of IP and how it can be used to compete in the global marketplace. Furthermore, the company apparently filed a design patent, so it’s doing its part to create indigenous IP.

All those public education campaigns seem to be working!