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Apple threatens Korean company over iPod knockoffs

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2005
News Categories: iPod mini

imageApple has accused a Korean music player maker of illegally copying the design of the iPod mini. Iops, the fifth-largest MP3 player seller in South Korea, received a complaint from Apple in October which demanded the company stop selling two of its models—Iops Jock and Iops Z3—because they rip-off Apple’s designs.

In the letter sent to Iops, Apple also asked that the company compensate the iPod maker for lost sales, and demanded an official apology to be printed in more than two of the daily newspapers in South Korea. “Iops rebuffed the claim, saying it is waiting for further action from Apple,” The Korea Times reports. “The Korean firm said that it is expecting an international legal suit from Apple.”

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Compensation for lost sales? What, all two or three of them?

Posted by stadidas on December 1, 2005 at 8:10 AM (PDT)


What are the specs on that and where can I buy it?

Posted by OMGWTFSTFU on December 1, 2005 at 8:16 AM (PDT)


What is Apple smoking?

The page for the product is here:

Beyond being colored, there is no similarity here. Screen is a different aspect ratio, and colored. Navigation is via a joystick. The body is thicker and not rounded. And so on.

The only way there’s any merit to this is if I missed the press announcement where Apple got the trademark on any colored boxes that have any sort of circular device on them.

People sneer as the consumers suing Apple over the material design of the nano, but it’s Apple that’s gotten all lawyer happy lately.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 1, 2005 at 9:01 AM (PDT)


It basically looks like exactly what is it is.  A ###### knock off of a discontinued iPod product.  Apple shouldn’t be wasting their money chasing this.

Posted by Frank Z on December 1, 2005 at 1:10 PM (PDT)


Code Monkey—-you’re the one smoking. It looks exactly like the mini’s design.

Posted by haha on December 1, 2005 at 3:59 PM (PDT)


It’s completely different…From what I can tell, it has a color screen, plays videos, and photos, is a bit smalled in width, and is wider….More like a equal. rectangle… And the navigation is completely different

Posted by scott on December 1, 2005 at 4:24 PM (PDT)


The player in the link above looks tiny.  Apple is worried it is to close to what they have planned for the shuffle replacement!

Posted by scooter on December 1, 2005 at 6:35 PM (PDT)


Posted at dapreview:

• iPod Mini: 4/6gb hard drive, monochrome LCD, click-wheel optical controller, no FM tuner, supports MP3 and proprietary Apple codecs, no voice recording.

• Z3: 256-1gb flash memory, OLED color screen, 5-way joystick controller, FM tuner, JPEG picture display, supports MP3, WMA, and OGG codecs, voice recording.

Things in common: they both have a screen… some type of controller… they come in different colors..

Posted by Joshua on December 1, 2005 at 6:38 PM (PDT)


” It looks exactly like the mini’s design. “

Ah, more fanboys. If Apple actually files this lawsuit they’ll be laughed out of court on any side of the Atlantic. Apple invented neither the rectangle nor the screen, and they don’t even use a joystick controller. When you start comparing physical dimensions and features, it gets even less similar.

Besides, seeing as how Apple isn’t much more successful in Korea than Cowon is here, what exactly would any Korean company have to gain from “ripping off” an unpopular product?

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on December 1, 2005 at 7:46 PM (PDT)


Ah, more fanboys.

As if anyone could expect anything different from the likes of haha.

Posted by flatline response on December 1, 2005 at 8:55 PM (PDT)


What? A Korean company that tries to knock off an American product? wink.  Well, it aint the first time and it won’t be the last. I think Apple is well within its right s to go ahead and sue them. That said, this player looks like a bad imitation, and nobody in their right mind would want it anyway. Junk.

Posted by Mook on December 2, 2005 at 12:07 AM (PDT)


haha.. that is so much rip from the ipod mini..

I knew some asian people form my past and i saw there imported stuff… TRUST me they rip tons of stuff from the usa… even old earth,wind, and fire beats.. its really sad i think.

Posted by shadow_ridge on December 2, 2005 at 2:56 AM (PDT)


Fanboys always intrigue me. I wonder why anyone can be so loyal to any physical product this much - products they pay a lot of money for, and continue to pay money for. Well, maybe to Port, and perhaps coffee… but a DAP? Dang, Apple should be paying you!

Lessee: It looks the same? Well if you mean that it looks like a typical DAP, yeah, they all share similar features. Apple didn’t invent the DAP, and they don’t own the rights to design a DAP today. It doesn’t look like a mini, outside of the colour choice made.

The iPod is an American product? Where’s it made?

Calling this DAP junk? What evidence do you have of that? Have you actually used and evaluated the product? I dunno about you, but I’m pretty hard pressed to call anything “junk” unless there’s overwhelming evidence of problems with the product (koff koof, scratched screens, koff koff), I’ve read more than a few reviews by qualified reviewers declaring it junk, or I’ve had a chance to evaluate the product myself.

Posted by Mark on December 2, 2005 at 3:06 AM (PDT)


In Korea nobody cares about Apple & the Ipod, they are years behind in technology. they are making fun of all you Ipod lovers, just like cars, they make them better in Japan. They get free TV & videos on their phones & portable players for years now, Ipod just put out their video version & they charged you for it. Ha Ha ..You Ipod lovers make me laugh. go look at websites like “Dapreview” & “Endgadget” & see for yourself ,all these beautifull gadgets, they are mostly from Korea

Posted by Jake on December 2, 2005 at 5:52 AM (PDT)


“Well, it aint the first time and it won’t be the last. I think Apple is well within its right s to go ahead and sue them”

You graduated from which law school?

“That said, this player looks like a bad imitation, and nobody in their right mind would want it anyway. Junk.”

Does the multiplicity of features offend you?
You know it’s junk because…?

And you might not like its looks, but at least you’ll be able to use it without first swaddling it in an Invisible Shield AND a case.

Posted by Joshua on December 2, 2005 at 5:55 AM (PDT)


“The iPod is an American product? Where’s it made?”

And who is responsible for its design? A Brit (Jonathan Ive), that’s who. And who lent Americans the money to buy them? The Chinese, the Japanese and the Saudis.

Posted by Joshua on December 2, 2005 at 6:05 AM (PDT)


Honestly I think it should be iOPS filing a suit against Apple, not for looking similar, but for putting a featureless overpriced DAP in their market. LOL, now I’m not an Apple hater I’ve always liked the little guy, but kind of reminds me of the type of practices that we’d see from a software behemoth(who will go unnamed for fear of litigation and/or blue screen of death)

Posted by lex on December 2, 2005 at 9:43 AM (PDT)


It does look a lot like a Mini. Not sure if Apple should be suing them over this one though.

Regardless, Iops sure know how to market their product though. Check out their site. There’s an awful lot of eye candy on that site!!

Posted by iPodCaesar on December 2, 2005 at 11:24 AM (PDT)


So small. Apple’s got no case.

Posted by j. stone on December 2, 2005 at 12:39 PM (PDT)

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