German police shut down CeBIT product pirates
The MiniOne is quite an attractive smartphone. A pretty design, a touch screen, and a modified version of Windows CE for an operating system. There's just one problem for Chinese manufacturer Meizu Technology Ltd: the MiniOne could be confused with Apple's iPhone.
That could explain why two gentlemen from Hanover's criminal investigation team visited the Meizu Technologies stand (hall 16, stand E12) on Wednesday morning. "This stand is closed until further notice", one of the officers dressed in plain clothes told passers-by. His colleague gave the staff at the stand a few forms to fill out. The stand is now completely empty; all devices and brochures have been confiscated. The police did not provide any further details.
A manager from Meizu explained to the German news service dpa that the police activities did not target the mobile phone but another product – a portable MP3 player. There were "discussions" about licensing issues, she puts it. Late afternoon the booth was populated again and Meizu employees were presenting the smartphone again but not the MP3 player.
Meizu is not the only exhibitor who received a surprise visit from investigators today. The visit to the stand where the alleged iPhone clone was on display is part of a major police campaign against patent violations conducted on Wednesday at CeBIT. In a discussion with heise online, a police spokesperson confirmed that police were conducting a widespread campaign, though she did not wish to provide any details. On Thursday, a press conference is to be held, where the police and state prosecutors will provide further information.
The MiniOne can no longer be seen at CeBIT. China's answer to the iPhone had quite an impressive array of features: quadband GSM/EDGE, WiFi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth, a 3.4in. touch screen and a 3 megapixel camera. According to the manufacturer, a 667MHz processor "based on" the ARM11 was inside.