Google and OHA sued over Android name

By Justin Mann on May 2, 2009, 6:58 PM
One would think that a term like “Android” would be generic enough to avoid being taken to court. Apparently not, and now Google will have to defend the name over a trademark infringement claim. The issue at hand was the granting of a trademark for the “Android Data Corporation” issued seven years ago. The company's owner, Erich Specht claims that Google's use of the term Android has been detrimental to his goals and (of course) demands monetary compensation along with a name change for the OS.

Google was denied a trademark for this very reason, which may have helped bring the situation to light. It does seem unlikely that Google would be willing to adopt a name change this late in the game – especially when their concentration along with other members of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) has been in getting “Android” into the hands of as many people as possible.

User Comments: 7

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9Nails said:
I can't find any results worth perusing when Googleing for “Android Data Corporation”! I wonder if this company even exists.
Wendig0 said:
[b]Originally posted by 9Nails:[/b][quote]I can't find any results worth perusing when Googleing for “Android Data Corporation”! I wonder if this company even exists.[/quote]I'm sure it does, but it is most likely a startup that never took off, and is probably based out of someone's apartment. I'm willing to bet that it has been 7 years since the owner of the "Corporation" has even thought about his business.
Rick said:
The first problem here is, I don't see "Android Data Corporation" in the USPTO database. I would imagine this means they can't defend it, because they never registered their trademark. Unregistered trademarks (TM) do not have federal protection like registered trademarks (R) and will be very difficult to defend unless their company is very well known (and obviously they are not...)The second problem is, the effectiveness of trademark protection is determined by a number of subjective criteria... This includes the specificity of the trademark in question, whether or not the trademark has been used much (if at all) and how well known the trademark name is. Since I've never heard of Android Data Corp. and I don't see any results linking to their business activity on the Interwebz, I'm willing to bet they'll fail the last two criteria.Another thing though, "Android" has nothing to do with either company, making it an arbitrary trademark. I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is arbitrary TMs offer reasonable protection, but only within that specific type of business / product. Android data corp may write software, in which their claim may have some validity; however, Google is the company that writes the software - Android is the name of their product, which happens to be an operating system for mobile phones. This may be determined specific enough that Android Data Corp. isn't in any danger of trademark confusion. But since they never registered...
phantasm66 said:
all this bloody legal action is getting so tiresome... its like the only winners are the lawyers.
Von RIff said:
ouch thats gotta suxx...i guess “Android Data Corporation” know all about the Android thingy and just waiting till the final showdown, and when they know Google cant back down, "i Sue U Pikachu !!!" haha thats a LOL...well with the bad economy, for sure they'll sue google.
lilykudrow said:
ISkoot Announces the First VoIP Application for Android G1Could Dell, Alienware and Google Make an Android Phone?A good read:[url]
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