Apple’s lawyers have asked sites hosting skins resembling the interface of the new iPhone to remove the files.

Since Apple’s demonstration of the iPhone last week, a number of look-a-like interfaces have been made available for use on alternative operating systems, and Apple’s lawyers have sent removal requests to websites hosting the files.

Skins such as the iPhony launcher for Palm OS allow Apple fans to install iPhone-like icons on their handsets, a move which Apple claims infringes its copyright.

Blogger Paul O'Brien, who had linked to the download page for the Pocket PC version of the interface, was sent a letter by Apple’s legal team asking him to remove the post. The letter said that “copyright law explicitly prohibits unauthorised display and distribution of copyrighted works”.

Members of the blogging community were outraged by Apple’s move, believing that it would make more sense for the company to target the source of the skin, rather than those linking to it online.