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Bloomberg sues Chinese firm for copying terminal design

Bloomberg, the world’s largest provider of financial data, is suing Shanghai firm Great Wisdom over allegations the latter’s product extensively copies Bloomberg’s software and hardware designs.

In a Shanghai court on 4 July, Bloomberg accused Great Wisdom of using a multi-colour keyboard, dual monitors and user interface that is directly derived from its own terminal, potentially making it difficult for customers to differentiate between the two. That amounts to a violation of Chinese competition laws, Bloomberg said.

The New York-based company is demanding an apology and 6.6 million yuan (£660,000) in compensation.

A lawyer for Great Wisdom, Si Weijiang, countered that the company uses Hewlett-Packard monitors and a third-party keyboard. Weijiang went on to argue that Bloomberg does not hold a patent for the software’s colours and interface structure.

The presiding judge did not deliver a verdict and instead ordered the two companies to bring forward purchase contracts.

Bloomberg, which was founded by current New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg in 1982, earns most of its revenue through leasing its Bloomberg Terminal to financial institutions around the world. The company also has a global media arm, including broadcast, digital and print publications.

Great Wisdom is China’s number one provider of financial data and recently announced plans to introduce international versions of its product, effectively challenging Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and other global companies.

Image Credit: Also Sprach Analyst