German police shut down CeBIT booth for patent discussions

Chinese device company has stand closed amid rumours of iPhone copying, police threaten to close further stands

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By  Quintin Smith Published  March 6, 2008

Meizu, a Chinese device manufacturer, has had its booth at CeBIT closed by German police and all of its marketing paraphernalia and hardware confiscated, amid allegations that it has copied consumer devices including Apple’s iPhone.

German police have stated the stand was closed for “patent discussions”. The company has previously been accused of copying Apple’s iPhone with its MiniOne phone, although this closure was related to one of its mp3 player range.

The booth was later re-opened with the mp3 player removed and the MiniOne still on display.

Existing prototypes of Meizu’s MiniOne touchphone are widely thought to be bizarrely similar to Apple's iPhone. Both phones feature a 3.4” screen design, a 667 MHz ARM11 processor core, a 3 megapixel camera and GSM connectivity.

In place of Apple’s proprietary OS, the MiniOne attempts to clone it, changing the function and appearance of a system based on Windows CE. Placed side by side, the similarities of the phones become obvious.

Meizu plan to release the MiniOne in China this August for a currently undisclosed price.

German police officials have said that they will release more details of the incident and, more notably, further booth closures later today.

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