“The iPhone of Apple Computer is allegedly a clone of a handset made by the Seoul-based LG Electronics, the world’s fifth-largest cell phone manufacturer,” Kim Tae-gyu reports for The Korea Times.

“…If LG sues Apple over patent infingement, it would be the second lawsuit against the iPhone after its long awaited release,” Tae-gyu reports. “As soon as Apple boss Steve Jobs revealed the iPhone last week, U.S. network company Cisco Systems filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming trademark rights on the iPhone [name].”

Tae-gyu reports, “LG Electronics also thinks the two gadgets are almost identical but the company seems undecided as to whether or not to cry foul against Apple through court action. ‘At first glance, we recognized the iPhone shares many form factors with the Prada phone. We are flattered that other makers follow our design policy,’ LG spokesman Lee Hyoung-kun said. ‘We can’t say at the moment whether or not we will file a lawsuit against Apple regarding this. It’s too early to make remarks on the issues,’ Lee said.”

“Experts predict that if the two phones share functionalities on top of looks, LG might file a complaint,” Tae-gyu reports. “LG has yet to reveal specifications of the Prada phone, which the firm looks to market soon. Yet, its exterior was shown to the public when it won the International Forum Design Product Design Award for 2007.”

Full article here.
LG spokesman Lee Hyoung-kun is correct that it’s too early to make remarks on the issues. One big question is how does the LG’s user interface work? Is the LG multi-touch or just “uni-touch?” An even bigger question would be who actually holds the patents that relate to each phone?

Apple’s iPhone user interface “is the result of years of research and development” and “boy, have we patented it.” – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, January 09, 2007

The Prada is a re-branded LG KE850 phone. A demo of the phone via YouTube (in French):

Apple Inc’s Phil Schiller shows CBS News’ John Blackstone some of the many features of the iPhone: