Apple Loses Exclusive Use of Term 'iPhone' in Chinese Court Ruling

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-05-06 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Apple loses iPhone trademark case in China to leather goods company; malware disrupts business operations at Michigan public utility;IBM brings quantum computing to the masses; and there's more.

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Read more about the stories in today's news:


Today's topics include a Beijing Court’s ruling that a Chinese maker of leather goods can brand them under the "iPhone" name, a malware infection at the Lansing Board of Water & Light in Michigan, IBM’s announcement that it is making quantum computing technology available to the masses and Microsoft debuts its cloud-inspired SharePoint Server 2016.

China may be among Apple's greatest revenue opportunities, but it also continues to present challenges. Most recently, that included the loss of the exclusive use of the word "iPhone." The Beijing Municipal High People's Court has ruled against Apple in a trademark dispute, granting authority to the Beijing Xintong Tiandi Technology Co. to use the iPhone name on its wallets, smartphone cases and other leather goods.

The ruling occurred in March but was only recently circulated. According to a document posted in the Chinese language Legal Daily, Apple filed to trademark "iPhone" on Oct. 18, 2002, but the request wasn't approved until Nov. 21, 2013, while Xintong received its trademark in 2007.

The Lansing Board of Water & Light, a public utility serving Lansing, Mich., is cleaning up its administrative systems after an undisclosed number of computers were infected with ransomware. While the attack, first detected on April 25, continues to affect the non-profit municipal utility's administrative services, it stressed in a statement posted to Twitter on May 2 that the cyber incident "should have no impact on the delivery of [customers'] water and electricity." Credit-card data appears not to have been put at risk by the compromise.

Reports of ransomware attacks on hospitals, utilities and other providers of critical services are on the rise, with cyber-criminals aiming to extort money from these organizations.

IBM is making quantum computing available on the IBM Cloud to accelerate innovation in the field and find new applications for the technology. IBM Research announced it is making quantum computing available to members of the public, who can access and run experiments on IBM's quantum processor. This has been about 35 years in the making, with perhaps another decade or more to go before IBM can deliver a universal quantum computer.

In a blog post, Dario Gil, vice president of Science and Solutions at IBM Research, related that in 1981, at a conference co-organized by MIT and IBM, the famous physicist Richard Feynman urged the world to build a quantum computer. Today, IBM is offering access to its quantum computing capabilities to anyone.

Microsoft announced the general availability of SharePoint Server 2016, the software giant's enterprise document management and team collaboration platform, during The Future of SharePoint event in San Francisco May 4. The product launch comes less than two months after the software was released to manufacturing.

Taking the stage at the event, Seth Patton, general manager of Microsoft SharePoint and OneDrive, assured that, despite his company's cloud-first product strategy, the on-premises version of the software will live on well past SharePoint Server 2016.

"We remain committed to SharePoint Server," he said. SharePoint Server shares much of the same code base as SharePoint Online. Like its cloud-based counterpart, the software is "built for continuous improvement," Patton added.


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