Apple has launched cease and desist orders against websites offering links to iPhone-like icon collections for SmartPhones.

The lawyers aren't just focused on the authors of these icons, but also on bloggers and smaller websites that link to the designs.

The company's legal teams are aggressively protecting Apple's patents and trademarks on the device: it doesn't want what's unique about the iPhone to be watered-down by emulation, or so it appears.

The icons appeared soon after the launch of the device, and aim to try to emulate the iPhone's user interface on SmartPhones and Palm-powered devices.

The software was released by SimToGo and is called 'iPhony'. As described it's a "very basic" launcher application, though the developers said they had "until June 2007 to finish it".

Apple says it owns copyright on these designs, but the move has done no favours to the company's standing on the blog-o-sphere. Bloggers are questioning why any company should have the right to demand third party sites remove links to material that isn't published by bloggers themselves.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was public when he warned others against abusing the patents within the device, revealing that Apple has "over 200" patents on aspects of the gadget, he warned "and we will protect them".