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Bloomberg Sues Over Trademark Violation

Bloomberg is suing two Shanghai-based companies for trademark violation.

The US financial news giant accuses a financial information service and a website of deliberately using names and trademarks similar to its own.

Bloomberg is demanding the companies stop using the Chinese name "Pengbo" a name similar to its own registered Chinese trademark.

The Bloomberg Limited Partnership (Bloomberg L.P.) exchanged evidence with the Shanghai Pobo Finance and Economic Information Company and the Shanghai Pobo Network Information Consulting Company, yesterday at Shanghai Pudong New Area District People's Court.

A hearing has not yet been scheduled.

In addition to dropping the contested name, Bloomberg also wants the two Shanghai minnows to publish an apology in a local newspaper, and pay compensation of 1 million yuan (US$123,300).

Bloomberg was established in Delaware in the United States in 1986 and set up its first Chinese office in 1995 in Beijing.

In 2003, it attained its Chinese trademark, Pengbo, from the Trademark Office under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce.

The two trademarks were granted for news and information services.

Shanghai Pobo and the website both use the Chinese name Pengbo, using two Chinese characters with the same pronunciation and a similar appearance to Bloomberg's registered trademark.

The two companies were established in 2000. They sell real-time financial information services and related software.

Dun Mingyue, attorney for Bloomberg, accused the companies of taking advantage of his client's famous name and causing confusion among consumers.

Shanghai Pobo denied they had attempted trade on Bloomberg's name.

"Bloomberg is not known by its Chinese name," said Dong Ke, attorney for Pobo.

"We registered the Chinese trademark in 2000, three years before Bloomberg."

Pobo registered the name in a category specifically for financial information services.

In a counter claim, Shanghai Pobo is now applying to the State Trademark Office to revoke Bloomberg's claim to the Pengbo name.

(China Daily November 15, 2005)

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