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i-phone trademark yielded to Apple

The company that owned the Chinese trademark “i-phone” – with a dash after the i – has yielded it to Apple, according China’s trademark office, removing what could have become a legal roadblock to sales of the iPhone in China. Hanwang Technology, a Chinese maker of e-readers and other devices, applied for the i-phone trademark for mobile phones in China in 2004, when it also launched a handset by that name that it no longer sells.

Lenovo sells AMD laptops

Lenovo is looking beyond long-term partner Intel and beginning to offer budget ThinkPad laptops based on AMD processors. Lenovo’s new line of ThinkPad Edge laptops will include AMD’s single-core and dual-core Athlon Neo and Turion Neo processors, at prices between 500 and 800 dollars. AMD chips will also appear in the ultrathin ThinkPad X100e. Intel’s low-voltage chips will be available as an option in ThinkPad Edge laptops, but the X100e will only be AMD-only.

RIM and Sharp accused of patent violations

The U.S. International Trade Commission has decided to investigate separate complaints made against Sharp and Research In Motion that each allege the companies are infringing patents held by the complainants. The complaint against Sharp was made by Samsung Electronics and claims LCD panels and modules made by the Japanese company infringe on Samsung’s intellectual property. Samsung filed the complaint on December 1st, less than a month after the ITC ruled in favor of Sharp in a similar LCD patent dispute between the two companies. The filing against against RIM was made by Omaha-based Prism Technologies, which makes money by acquiring patents related to Internet security and e-commerce and either licensing or attempting to enforce them.

Chrome passes Safari usage

Google’s Chrome overtook Apple’s Safari to become the world’s third-most popular browser in December, according to Web metrics company Net Applications. Internet Explorer meanwhile lost almost a full percentage point of market share. Chrome ended the year with a share of 4.63 percent to Safari’s 4.46 percent. Opera’s share rose to 2.4%, but Mozilla’s Firefox slipped to 24.6%, leaving Microsoft’s Internet Explorer with 62.7% of the market, a new low.

Net Applications also measured operating system market share among Internet users in December. Windows ‘ share dropped by about a third of a percentage point to 92.2 percent, even as the new Windows 7 posted a second straight month of impressive gains. Rival desktop operating systems Mac OS X and Linux remained steady, but mobile OSes, including Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone OS, took up the slack created by Windows’ dip.

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