Think different... ly, about trademark law

First Taiwanese iPod shuffle ripoff: sighted! It's called the "Super Shuffle", and as you can see from the photos, it's a complete clone right down to the marketing materials. (The only photo on that page depicting genuine Apple materiel is the closeup of the iPod Shuffle's reverse side [against a red background], for comparison purposes.)

The vendor says he's getting inquiries from all over the world, including the US. But he isn't worried about any trouble from Apple.

"Actually, we've already talked to a legal specialist. It's a different size and weight than the iPod Shuffle, and the software inside is different too. No problem."
-- But the design is the same, right?
"You think so? Nah, it's different. Look closely." (Laughter)

More about the Super Shuffle's specs here -- even if you can't read Japanese, the acronyms tell the story.

Language notes for language nerds: Both articles use the slang word 激似 (gekini), which is interesting because it consists of a Sino-Japanese word(?) 激, (geki, "violent") + the stem of the native Japanese verb 似[てる] (ni[teru], "resemble"). You see the same pattern in 激安, gekiyasu, which means "extremely cheap".

超, chou, "super-", is another example of a Sino-Japanese prefix that (in the casual speech of the young) can attach to native Japanese adjectival phrases. 超安い, 超行きたかった, etc. (It can also attach to Sino-Japanese words, of course, e.g. 超綺麗.)

Popularity factor: 6


Hey, you made a typo here. You typed 劇,from 時代劇,instead of 激,i.e. from 激辛。


What I find amusing is that the thing is better than Apple's own dumbed-down/stripped-down Shuffle. Apple should take the hint and quit castrating their products.

Bitter? Very.


So there I was being all cocky with a Japanese friend of mine when he asked me to read 激安ショップ. Ahem. Gekian anyone?


D'oh! Thanks, Duncan.

Justin: Who knows, it might still be less reliable, have crappier sound, etc. Personally I think of the iPod Shuffle as something completely different from the other iPods, more like a bucket I dip into my library every morning than a full or partial mirror of it. If I want to listen to a particular album, I put that in at the start then let the rest fill up randomly. It works for me.


p.s. Roy: I have a similar story about my first encounter with a sign like that, except my version was "hageyasu".


I think it's interesting that they even copied the style of the iPod advertisements, with black sihouettes of people against solid bright-colored backgrounds.

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