Nokir E828.jpgOne industry issue that was not touched on at 3GSM last week was intellectual property and the growing problem of Chinese copycat phones.

With so many delegates from Chinese multinationals like Huawei and ZTE in Barcelona, I suspect the organisers felt it best not to upset the foreign visitors' sensibilities by mentioning this shadier side of China's manufacturing prowess.

However, EngagingChina talked to several brand-name manufacturers at the show and found they are less than happy at China's apparent chronic inability to do much to stem the flood of copycat phones that look suspiciously like theirs.

nokia n77.jpgIt's a problem that we have mentioned before and we don't intend to turn EngagingChina into a “Most Wanted” list of rip-off phone designs. However, the speed and ingenuity with which China manufacturers turn out reasonable imitations of ever more sophisticated brand-name phone never ceases to astound us. Take for example the cheekily-named Nokir E828G, shown above.

Nokia last year took two Shenzhen-based manufacturers to court for producing copycat versions of its popular 720 phone. But the this Nokir E828G is a cut above the usual rip-off phones, not least because it imitates one of Nokia's high-end camera phones, the Nokia N73 — see right — which was only announced six months ago. The N73 aims to take camera phones to a new level of sophistication with a 3.2 megapixel camera and a Carl Zeiss autofocus lens.

We don't have the spec sheet for the Nokir E828G, so we can't see how well it compares, although T3 magazine claims it has a 2 megapixel camera and because it has a touch screen, it actually improves on the Nokia phone.

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