The January Review

It’s already some way through January, and hopefully your resolutions are still in tact and your plan for 2020 is in full swing. With the onset of a new year, it offers us all time to reflect upon what has been achieved in the previous year and what we hope to accomplish in the near future. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the news which you may have missed last month in our January review.

Google pushes further into hardware world with Fitbit purchase

Google announced in early December that it had entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the wearables brand ‘Fitbit’. Although a world away from their primary successful core services, Google has shown its muscle in the tech world with its smart speakers, smart phones and Nest thermostats. The acquisition of Fitbit will sound a further signal of their expansion intent. Although Fitbit is a very well-established brand, they have had their recent troubles as they have failed to evolve with the wearables market, despite arguably inventing it. They have tried, and mostly failed, in their bid to develop smart watches and so the development skills of Google could reinvent and reinvigorate this brand.

DT in legal battle over ownership of the colour magenta

Never denigrate the protective instincts of brands and solicitors who will stop at nothing to prevent infringement. A completely understandable principle one might think; however, one firm is attempting to claim complete ownership of the colour magenta. Deutsche Telekom is testing the very limits of the law having filed a court injunction against the Israeli start-up Lemonade, whose branding also uses the colour magenta. What also staggers belief is that when assessing the legal reach of the argument, a patent which is owned by Deutsche Telekom doesn’t seem to relate to the use of magenta in any one medium, it apparently ‘owns’ magenta in Germany. Perhaps the legal system will show some sense when it comes to judgement in this case, however, if not, could DT have potentially the most protected brand in the world?

The Race to 6G gathers pace

Just days after China launched its own 5G service, the Chinese government officially announced its 6G research and development programme. The roadmaps and usage scenarios have zero international consensus as yet, and so China hope their programme will place them very much in the international driving seat to bring 6G to fruition. However, there will be a considerable wait. Industry experts have placed a conservative estimate of 2030 before 6G is available.

Other countries have also pledged to develop 6G. Named considerably pithier, the Finnish government endorsed their own ‘6Genesis’, and the American president Donald Trump tweeted at the very beginning of the year that he wanted America to have 6G ‘as soon as possible’.

Huawei files defamation lawsuits in France

Huawei has launched legal cases in France against two people after it was claimed on national television that Huawei was controlled by the Chinese government. Defamation suits such as this are incredibly rare in the tech sector, but the Chinese phone giant is increasingly becoming more aggressive against its accusers in recent times following on from the spying allegations which were widely levied against them in 2019. Although these allegations were made regarding Huawei back in March, details have only just been made public. The two individuals at the centre of the case are anonymous and shall remain so until such time the courts allow otherwise. Here is the statement made by Huawei:

Huawei has filed 3 complaints alleging public defamation of the company in March 2019. The complaints relate to claims that Huawei is a Chinese company controlled by state and Chinese Communist Party; that it is led by a former “counter-intelligence” member and that it uses its technological expertise in telecom networks to commit acts of espionage to the detriment of the Western world.

Huawei believes these statements are seriously defamatory. Huawei is a private company, 100% owned by its employees. For the last 30 years since it was founded, there has never been a serious cyber-security issue with Huawei products.
These complaints are directed against the authors of the comments and not to the media that report them. Huawei respects the independence of the media and the freedom of the press.

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