Google And Others Sued Over ‘Android’ For Trademark Infringement


imageAn Illinois software developer is suing Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and 47 other international corporations for using the word “Android” to describe its open-source mobile operating system. In the lawsuit, Erich Specht is claiming “it is clear that Google stole first and asked questions later.”

He says the name infringes on his company’s name, Android Data, for which he was granted a trademark in October of 2002 by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The Register reports that he is seeking millions — in fact, $2 million for “each use of the trademarked term by each defendant.”

Apparently, Google left itself open to the legal problems after it applied for a trademark for Android in October of 2007 and was denied. Since then, it has filed objections and asked the Trademark office to suspend the trademark until further clarification of its use could be determined. The office has granted the suspension, according to The Register. The Trademark Office originally denied Google’s applications because “consumers are likely to conclude that the goods are related and originate from a single source.” But in Google’s rebuttal, the Register reported that Google said that the “Android Data” trademark hadn’t been used for more than three years, that the company has been dissolved for more than four years, and that there couldn’t be any confusion between the two names.

Despite the suspension, that didn’t stop Specht from filing a lawsuit on Tuesday. In addition to Google being named, he cited 47 other companies, including the Open Handset Alliance, China Mobile, Sprint (NYSE: S) Nextel, T-Mobile, Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), ARM, Broadcom, Intel (NSDQ: INTC), Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Motorola (NYSE: MOT), Samsung, Toshiba, and Wind River.


Despite of the reason of google about the effectivity of the trademark, still, the registry will holds the last say for this issue for them to continue using the trademark. I'm not sure about the term for terminated trademark but definitely, confusion from followers of Android should be taken into consideration.


Yet another example of big company trying to step on small company… As they get larger, I don't think Google can keep its massive set of stakeholders in step with the "do no evil" theme. Harbinger of things to come?

Luke Covack

While I agree with Google that there would be little to no mix up in the company's if in fact they filed for the trademark for Android in October of 2007 and was denied then they have no right what so ever to go ahead and start using that name.

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