oh please, like America don't make cheap ripoffs
I've had plenty of sodas, cereals, etc etc etc that makes it look similar to another brand, but is not.
Exterior design looking similar, and name looking similar is not something that's illegal. Misleading yes, but not illegal.
If you read the posts in here again, carefully, you'll see that not a single person accused the Chinese console rip-off designs of being illegal. What was deemed illegal was the potential ROM content in those consoles. The cheap imitation aspect of these consoles are, as you say, just that -- imitations, rip-offs, misleading, and what have you, but not illegal. Agreed. But take a look at what's running on them. Those files could be illegal, depending on whether or not they're copies of software that have entered public distribution (which I highly doubt).
Anyway. I think it's pretty fascinating how these shoddy knock-offs exist. On the one hand, you've got people who want to file a lawsuit for ripping off an IP, or housing illegal software. On the other hand, it's interesting how radically different some of these things can actually be once you use them. I saw an iPhone rip-off on the subway once that wasn't an iPhone, or even an iPod, but a handheld poker machine. My friend who runs a Guitar Hero tourney at her bar gave away, not too long ago, an iPod Nano rip-off that the winner said had a whole boatload of features and capabilities that no iPod has ever had. I'm not advocating or demonizing anything about those devices, by the way; I just think it's amusing and fun to see how people (mis)use popular imagery.