Dazhihui's stock terminal Dazhihui Financial Investor. (Internet photo)
US-based media group Bloomberg has sued Chinese financial information provider Dazhihui for infringing on its intellectual property rights to the layout design of its terminal, which consists of a double-screen monitor and a colored keyboard.
Bloomberg staff reportedly assembled and turned on the terminal in court to highlight the similarities between their product and that of Dazhihui. The terminal — which features news and stock information — is a hit product for Bloomberg.
The US company entered Chinese market and sold its first terminal to the People's Bank of China in 1995. It became the world's second largest stock terminal provider in 2010 and the third largest in China in 2009.
Bloomberg says Dazhihui ripped off its unique color scheme and layout design, which may confuse consumers. The US company filed a lawsuit against Dazhihui in September 2011 and requested the Chinese company to stop using the design and publish a formal apology in the People's Daily and People's Daily Overseas in addition to paying 66 million yuan (US$10 million) in compensation.
Lawyers representing Dazhihui say Bloomberg's accusations are unfounded. The Chinese company has no reason to imitate Bloomberg's design since it has the largest market share in China while Bloomberg is the only third largest in the country.
The lawyers also noted both companies use Hewlett-Packard as their manufacturer, which could account for some similarities. Dazhihui purchases its screens from HP and has its keyboard custom-made by the same company, while Bloomberg's screens and keyboards are both custom-made by HP. Dazhihui also said the black background color and brown and red font are common among stock trading software and its products and Bloomberg's are only sold at designated stores so that customers are unlikely to mistake their terminals.
The court asked both companies to provide further information of their contracts with HP after an initial hearing. Bloomberg said it is willing to settle out of court or through mediation but Dazhihui has refused.
Dazhihui Financial Investor 大智慧金融投資家