If you were in Tokyo this week and popped into the Digital Publishing Fair just outside the capital city, you may have been surprised to spot some rather daring 'tribute' products.

Chief among them was an e-book reader that appears to owe much to the design of Amazon's Kindle 2, which went on sale in February.

Peking University

Tech-On is reporting that it discovered the almost-identical device on the stand of Founder International, the Japanese arm of one of Peking University's business units.

Doing his best to give the benefit of the doubt, Tech-On's reporter examined the device:

"At the first glance, the terminal looked very much like the Kindle 2. But, after carefully examining it, I found some differences, for example, in the shapes of the buttons on the right and left sides of the terminal, the width of the upper frame and, of course, the logo."

Amazon who?

On asking about the e-book's origins, he was told: "Peking University Founder Group independently developed this terminal, and it has nothing to do with the Kindle."

Right... and all those iPhone-like handsets from China were built by people who've never even heard of Apple.

We can't see Founder getting too far with this one, but if it comes good on promises to sell the device in Japan too, we'll certainly let you know.

Via Tech-On