Several tech blogs have latched onto a report from the UK Telegraph that Apple has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Chinese company called In Icons, ordering it to stop making, marketing and selling an eerily-lifelike Steve Jobs memorial action figure.
The figurine comes with “14 points of articulation” and an Apple themed backdrop, among other props. Yes, the late Apple founder is depicted wearing his trademark black turtleneck, blue jeans and spectacles. It’s being marketed for $109.99 for a February release.
As the Telegraph’s Amy Willis reported from L.A.:
Apple reportedly stipulates in a letter to the Chinese manufacturer that any toy that resembles the technology company’s logo, person’s name, appearance or likeness of its products is a criminal offence.
As In Icons CEO Tandy Cheung told ABC News on Wednesday: “Apple can do anything they like…I will not stop, we already started production.”
Numerous tech bloggers have pointed out how rigid Apple tends to be with its copyrights, even in the notoriously freewheeling and infringing Chinese grey market, investigating and threatening legal action against unauthorized retailers in the country.
The Telegraph also points out that Apple managed to block sales of a Steve Jobs bobble-head-like doll from the blog MIC Gadget in late November 2010. MIC Gadget’s Chris Chang quoted from Apple’s letter at the time:
“Unauthorized use of a person’s name and/or likeness constitutes a violation of California Civil Code Section 3344, which prohibits the use of any person’s name, photograph or likeness in a product without that person’s prior consent…”
We’ve reached out to Apple and In Icons for more information on these developments, and will update when we receive a response. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that In Icons’ logo also bears a striking resemblance to that of career social network LinkedIn.