Apple finally setting its legal sights on the HiPhone?

Oh, there are plenty of bad Chinese iPhone knockoffs out there, but the HiPhone may be the reigning champion these days -- so it kind of seemed like a matter of time before Apple loosed the hounds on distributors of the device. We don't have confirmation or proper human translation of the above legal notice, but it would appear Apple's European counsel Bird & Bird has delivered at least one notice to an unnamed distributor threatening €25,000 in damages (and €15,000 in legal fees) for HiPhone sales. Hardly the case of the century, but we'll let you know if we hear anything.

[Thanks, Ricardo]

Update: Reader Ben W hooked us up with a translation of the letter; we can't vouch for its veracity, but it's posted after the break if you want to check it out. Thanks, Ben!

Engaged on behalf of Apple Inc., 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California 95014, USA

1. In order to avoid a contractual penalty in the order of €25,000.00 for every case of contravention, introduction of multifunctional portable mobile radio devices as per subsequent reports in the European Economic Area, for the purpose of offering them for distribution in the European Economic Area and/or to sell and/or to share one of these aims:

2. altogether other within the European Economic Area in his/her indirect or direct property operating apparatuses and/or duplicate apparatuses defined in item 1 has until [blank] May, 2008 to destroy the apparatuses and notify the solicitors Bird & Bird in Dusseldorf without delay with appropriate written proof;

3. to inform Apple Inc. by way of the solicitors Bird & Bird in Dusseldorf until the [blank] May, 2008 that the following information was brought;

3.1. to which extent he/she fabricated multifunction mobile radio devices in a configuration as defined in item 1 reproduced in the European Economic Zone alone or via a third party, to tender and/or distribute, and admittedly under specification individual production, offer and delivery, respectively by method, time and price as well as name and address of the recipient offer and/or supply as well as under specification respective turnover and initial costs, to break down individual cost factors, and under specification at this accrued profit, moreover also under information the extent for such mobile radio devices to pursue advertising under information of the advertising expense (including eBay and other Internet platforms), broken down by advertising medium, their circulation levels, range of distribution and distribution time;

3.2. over the origin and the channel of distribution of the mobile radio devices reproduced according to item 1, and admittedly under specification of the name and address of the original equipment manufacturer, the vendors and other previous holders of the objects, their commercial consumers or clients as per the amount produced, delivered, received or ordered materials;

4. to compensate Apple Inc. for the costs of the solicitation of the solicitors Bird & Bird, and admittedly by lawful scale of charges pursuant to German solicitors commissioning laws in an amount of €2,000,000 and in an amount of 1.8-corporate tax plus expenses, a total of €13,512.80, payable until [blank] May, 2008 to the attention of solicitors Bird & Bird in their account [intentionally omitted] at the Deutschen Bank Dusseldorf, bank identification number 300 700 24, under specification for the intended purpose "APPCO-0137B-008-RDI";

5. Apple Inc. altogether retains the right to impose further penalties, as specified in items 1 and/or 4 if the indicated actions have arisen and/or will arise.