Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Businesses Government Handhelds The Courts The Internet Hardware News

Google & Others Sued Over Android Trademark 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the grab-that-cash dept.
suraj.sun tips news that Google and 47 other companies are being sued over use of the "Android" name. Eric Specht of Android Data alleges that Google "stole first and asked questions later." According to The Register, "Google applied for a trademark for Android in October of 2007, but had that application denied in February of 2008. The USPTO's reasoning for the denial was simple: Since both Google and Specht were involved in the development of software and related services, 'consumers are likely to conclude that the goods are related and originate from a single source.'" Reader ruphus13 points out related news that Motorola is planning several Android-based phones for later this year.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google & Others Sued Over Android Trademark

Comments Filter:
  • by Albert Sandberg (315235) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @04:16AM (#27797099) Homepage

    1) Register a company with a cool sounding name
    2) Run your business like usual
    3) Watch another company make a huge success using your name and wait a bit.
    4) Sue them and profit!

    Have you heard about Android Data before google made their move? Thought so.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not really. Being a trademark it's easy enough to search this up.

      That you haven't heard about it isn't the problem here. If a small business creates a business with a certain name - then of course they have the right to that name - and the right for protection against larger 'dogs' stealing their company name.

      And then there is gmail, which google cannot use in Germany, and which crashes with an older email-product called Gmail in Norway.

      • ... that the name "Android" really sucks for a cell phone.

        Let's take an example of how it was done right - the Motorola Razr - "as thin as a razor."

        But then again, this is from a company (Google) that couldn't even spell their OWN name right. [wikipedia.org]

        Google - accidental misspelling of googol. According to Google's vice president, as quoted on a BBC The Money Programme documentary, January 2006, the founders - noted for their poor spelling - registered Google as a trademark and web address before someone pointed out that it was not correct.

        Hey, maybe they should have mis-spelled it as "Andruid" - they could have had a tie-in with the Boston Celtics. Or "Endroid" and hooked up with Preparation H. ("Shitty cell phone service? Use Endroid"). Or A-roid - the "Cell phone on steroids".

        • January 2006, the founders - noted for their poor spelling

          Well ... that explains a lot. As it happens, I'm an excellent speller (used to win spelling bees in grade school) and I've been having a hard time figuring out why, after all these years, I don't run a major technology company.

          Now I know. Damn.

          • by tomhudson (43916)

            "Aim that at me and I'll kill you." -- Jame Retief, "Retief's War"

            That has GOT to be one of the best multi-book characters in Sci-Fi. Sure, the stories are a bit pulpy (okay, they're a LOT pulpy, and quite camp), but they're fun "Pulp (sci)-Fiction."

            • "Aim that at me and I'll kill you." -- Jame Retief, "Retief's War"

              That has GOT to be one of the best multi-book characters in Sci-Fi. Sure, the stories are a bit pulpy (okay, they're a LOT pulpy, and quite camp), but they're fun "Pulp (sci)-Fiction."

              Couldn't agree more. I've read them all (a couple more than once) and have them all still in a box somewhere. Don't have enough shelf space to hold them my whole science fiction collection, unfortunately. Besides, Mr. Magnan warned me that the five-eyed little sticky-fingers will steal them when I'm not looking (that was my best 407A attempt-at-humor.)

        • Motorola Razr is as painful as a razor.

          Google Hemorrhoid?

      • by afabbro (33948)

        Gmail...Android...these really aren't great names anyway. You'd think a company the size of Google could come up with better names.

        Deciding to name a product "Gmail" or "Android" is like deciding to name your company "Alliance Siding," "Northwest Construction," or "Best Plumbing" and then trying to get it trademarked in all states.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Should have just called them Popplers... or Zitlers.

    • by Maelwryth (982896) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @04:57AM (#27797209)
      Not quite. From TFA, "Android Data, for which he was granted a trademark in October of 2002 by the US Patent and Trademark Office". It looks like Android Data have been trademarked for a number of years. It is strange that Google didn't buy the trademark in October 2007 after their application ran out, or that they didn't change it to Android OS to differentiate their product from Android Data.

      OTOH, "Google countered in August, claiming that the trademark Android Data hadn't been used for over three years, that the company has been dissolved for over four years, and that there couldn't be any confusion between the two names." which does seem pretty reasonable. According to the Chilling Effects [chillingeffects.org] website though, the time limit for a trademark is 10 years. Although in the first ten year period you need to lodge an "Affidavit of Use [uspto.gov]" between the fifth and sixth years. Looks like Eric Spech may be receiving some money. Unless a bean counter at Google works out it will cost less to change the name.
      • by speedtux (1307149) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @06:51AM (#27797605)

        Yes, and read down a little further: "the trademark Android Data hadn't been used for over three years, that the company has been dissolved for over four years".

        Furthermore, "Android" by itself shouldn't enjoy trademark protection, since it's a common word. "Google Android", "Android Data", "Android Mobile Phone" might enjoy trademark protection--separately from each other.

        • by ivucica (1001089) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @07:09AM (#27797669) Homepage
        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          A word being common will not prevent the word from being used as a trademark.

          The issue is whether the word is a generic description or representation of the product being sold.

          So if I sold robots, I could not use "android" as a trademark for my robots. However, if I sold mobile phones, "android" is likely a valid trademark.

        • by anegg (1390659)
          So if you have a car sitting in your driveway, which you haven't driven in several years, and which it looks like you might never drive, its ok if I take it, renovate it, and then drive it around? Or would you perhaps have a right to contest my taking of your car, even though I'm getting much better use out of it than you would have? Next thing you know we will have big companies getting the government to use "eminent domain" to take trademarks away from other companies because the big company will make m
          • Bad analogy. Google didn't take or renovate anything from Sprecht. He still has all the Android Data stuff that ever was (even though none of us seem to be able to find it). The situation in your analogy is definitely not OK, but it isn't really applicable to this.

            The Google situation is more like this: You have a broken down car in your driveway that you call "Android Data". Google builds a spaceship at their headquarters, launches it with several partners, then names it "Android". You see pictures o

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Trademark is not granted on a Name only -- you need to submit a Name and Use

          Android Data -- Software
          Android - OS/API

          are to similar in Name and Use to the USPTO and rightly so

          Android Rubber - fetish gear
          Android - OS/API

          and not similar in Name and Use to the USPTO and there would be no trademark issue.

          Google lawyers and business types screwed up -- end of story.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Quothz (683368)

          Yes, and read down a little further: "the trademark Android Data hadn't been used for over three years, that the company has been dissolved for over four years"

          Now read the whole sentence:

          Google countered in August, claiming that the trademark Android Data hadn't been used for over three years, that the company has been dissolved for over four years, and that there couldn't be any confusion between the two names.

          Yeesh. You think, maybe, that Google might potentially have a small bias when making that statement?

        • IIRC correctly from a US trademark law class a couple years ago, words like "android" are precluded from trademark protection only if they literally describe the thing.

          You couldn't use "android" as a trademark for a line of androids you've released, for example. Well, you could use it as a trademark, but you couldn't get trademark protection.

          Because remember that a "trademark" is merely a mark you use in trade.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by abigsmurf (919188)

      There are hundreds of millions of potential names for a business (and that's assuming you use existing, English words). Not only that, there are lots of exceptions for businesses operating in different areas.

      It's not all that hard to come up with an original name. You come up with a creative name, see if you can trademark it, if you can't, you pick another name. It's not incredibly hard even without teams of lawyers. Google applied for a trademark, got it denied because of this existing business yet still p

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Google are probably hoping they can settle out of court and get the name for a fairly cheap price as a result.

        Oh they will. The owner would have to be stupid to try to hold onto it against a bigger company. Not when he can make a small fortune selling it and retire. Its not overly clever anyways. What do you get when you search for "Android -google"? Nothing related to his product. What about "Android Data -google"? Star Trek.

      • by MadCow42 (243108) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @08:49AM (#27798099) Homepage

        Have you ever actually been responsible for naming products at a large corporation???

        As easy as it may sound, it's one of the single most difficult things to do. Creating a name that has the right feeling and meaning to it, while satisfying all stakeholders AND copyright people is next to impossible. You'll always have n+1 opinions on what name is best, assuming n people are involved in the process.

        The only "simple" way is a dictatorship - such as a sole proprietorship in a small company where the owner does this him/herself.

        MadCow.

      • by mspohr (589790)

        There are hundreds of millions of potential names for a business (and that's assuming you use existing, English words)

        Just a few points:

        The OED lists 171,471 words in the English language... somewhat short of 'hundreds of millions' (most trademarks are single words).

        It is best not to use a known word as your trademark. It will be stronger and easier to defend if you make up a new word.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Quothz (683368)

          Just a few points:

          The OED lists 171,471 words in the English language...

          That number, I assume, is from AskOxford. It is incorrect. That's how many entries are in volume 1, excluding archaic words and combination word-forms. The full count is more than six hundred thousand, plus their own estimate of another half-million uncatalogued technical words.

          The Global Language Monitor has been in the news recently claiming 999,456 words in the English language, although it isn't clear how picky they are.

          Encyclopedia Americana (1999 ed.) claims 750,000 words.

          "About a million" is a

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Quothz (683368)

            Even in the most generous estimate, tho', we're nowhere near the GP's claim of hundreds of millions.

            Although a few minutes' thought makes me reconsider, since there's no problem with a single trademark including multiple words. There are quite a few permutations available.

        • The OED lists 171,471 words in the English language

          Bullshit. I know more than that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by runlevelfour (1329235)
      Exactly. I had thought the original intent of laws like this was to protect an established company and/or product from shady unknown imitators who have contributed nothing and not the other way around. Pretty sure this will go nowhere in court, but these kind of shenanigans seem to be more common as time goes by. As OP stated, none of us had even heard of Android Data, and even if I had I sure as hell wouldn't confuse them with a phone OS developed by google.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by indytx (825419)

      1) Register a company with a cool sounding name . . . .

      Have you heard about Android Data before google made their move? Thought so.

      It doesn't matter whether anyone had heard of his company before. The bottom line is he, apparently, had registered his trademark and his registered trademark was still valid with the USPTO. I really don't see what the argument from Google is other than something along the lines of "Our use of the cool sounding name will be cooler." Just to make sure it's clear, Google knew that this guy had an active trademark, and Google used the registered trademark anyway. What. Idiots.

      Is this the IP version of "Ki

      • by nstlgc (945418)
        Mod parent up. Google has to stop acting like a big bully. If this was Microsoft we'd have killed them with fire before the 4th comment on this article.
    • by mlscdi (1046868) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @05:43AM (#27797359)

      Have you heard about Android Data before google made their move? Thought so.

      I'd heard of an Android called Data [wikipedia.org]...is that the same thing?

    • You could also ask if people have ever heard of Google's Android. If it wasn't for slashdot, I'd be none the wiser to either entity. If I was the decision maker here, I'd give it to Android Data, they registered first, and it's not like they've sat around on their rear end for 5 or more years waiting for Android on cell phones to get real huge either.

    • Google applied for a trademark for Android in October of 2007, but had that application denied in February of 2008.

      Regardless of if I have heard of Android Data, Google knew about them because of the denied trademark. Google also knew the USPTO said its decision was final. So, like all the big players they just kept trying to find a way to break the rules or break the opposition. In our system that often involves some campaign contributions leading to some phone calls being made... business as usual.

      Google deserves to take it in the shorts on this one, but I doubt that they will.

    • "Have you heard about Android Data before google made their move? Thought so."

      Doesn't matter, Google certainly heard the name before once their application was rejected. Maybe they should have done something like picked a different name?

  • by wjh31 (1372867) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @04:27AM (#27797127) Homepage
    from TFA: "the trademark Android Data hadn't been used for over three years, that the company has been dissolved for over four years"
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rtb61 (674572)

      So that simply makes the problem much easier. The holder of the trademark will successfully sue for damages, now those damages absolutely can not relate to the value that google has added to that name of the other 47 companies it can only relate the the value of the name prior to it's use by google.

      So a shut down company with no turnover has no real legitimate value in the trademark. However they can of course fight to keep their name and get the benefit (no real cost) of all that free advertising and pe

    • Also from TFA, though:

      Google applied for a trademark for Android in October of 2007, but had that application denied in February of 2008.

      I might have more sympathy if the boot were on the other foot, but if you're gonna use a generic name like Android on a high profile product then maybe, just maybe, you should, e.g. run a search on the USPTO database first...

      • by ibbey (27873)

        I suspect that they did. It actually seems to me that Mr. Specht's case may be pretty weak. The article doesn't specify what sort of software Android Data made, but trademarks only apply in cases where confusion is likely. Google may have presumed since the trademark hadn't been used and since, according to Google at least, "there couldn't be any confusion between the two names", they would be granted the trademark. Admittedly that's not a very sound way to make a business decision, but it's certainly not t

    • by djtachyon (975314)
      Next, he will be coming after those of us who have taken advantage [cafepress.com] of the Google Android branding rights [android.com].
  • by Elrond, Duke of URL (2657) <JetpackJohn@gmail.com> on Saturday May 02, 2009 @04:31AM (#27797147) Homepage

    After the whole Gmail problem, it seems like Google would have been a little more on the ball with regards to the naming of future products. The article says that the trademark hasn't been used in years and that the company in question has even been dissolved.

    Still, the trademark was granted and Google's strategy seems to have been to think happy thoughts while the USPTO decided the case. Couldn't they have just dealt with Specht before this turned towards lawsuit territory?

    It sure would have cost less to deal with it early on...

    • by earlymon (1116185)

      Thank you for your breath of sanity in this otherwise insane topic.

      Couldn't they have just dealt with Specht before this turned towards lawsuit territory?

      Absolutely correct, and not just my humble opinion.

      I was in charge of trademarking our company's trademarks (software products). Trademark law is very interesting - and so simple that any software guy with a decent trademark attorney can learn the ropes, pronto.

      Strictly with regard to trademarks, in the USA, you perfect your rights - in other countries, you obtain your rights.

      When there's a potential problem - or actual problem, as reported

  • by meerling (1487879) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @05:06AM (#27797245)
    IANAL

    I don't think he'll have much luck pressing a case against anyone using 'Android', just those using 'Android Data' for the same reason that 'Bovine Ventures' won't succeed in suing 'Bovine Growth Hormone'.

    If you don't know, it's because Android is just a single word that's been in the modern language for a couple of generations now. Apparently there are laws against somebody absconding with single words of our language and claiming sole ownership of them. Of course the courts are slow and stupid, so anyone fighting this will have to pay lots of lawyers lots of money before getting this crushed, but at least Google has that cash.

    By the way, those same rules or laws are the same reason why Google can't rub their hands together and laugh maniacally while preparing lawsuits against thousands of authors of science fiction, not to mention a fair stack of movies as well.
    • by Maelwryth (982896) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @05:41AM (#27797351)
      And more than just a couple of generations. To quote Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], "The term was first mentioned by St. Albertus Magnus in 1270 and was popularized by the French writer Villiers in his 1886 novel L'Ève future, although the term "android" appears in US patents as early as 1863 in reference to miniature humanlike toy automations."

      I have got to say that was the first time I have ever heard of St. Albertus Magnus [wikipedia.org]. Turns out he was one of Thomas Aquinas's [wikipedia.org] teachers and was one of the first Europeans to isolate Arsenic.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by smoker2 (750216)
        The root of android is androgynous, meaning
        1, Having both female and male characteristics; hermaphroditic.
        2. Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.

        Anything displaying such characteristics would be termed android. (See also human, humanoid; paranoia, paranoid;)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/-oid [wikipedia.org]
        • The root of android is androgynous, meaning 1, Having both female and male characteristics; hermaphroditic. 2. Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior. Anything displaying such characteristics would be termed android. (See also human, humanoid; paranoia, paranoid;) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/-oid [wikipedia.org]

          Plain Wrong.

          Android comes from the ancient greek Andros that means man and from a derivative form of Eidos that means idea depending on the context.
          So android means something that has the idea of man(remember Plato?) or at least visually related to it.

          Because of this we have the term Gynoid used usually by some SF feminist circles.

          Androgynous comes from Andros and Gyne' that mean man and woman respectively and is totally unrelated to Android.

          Get your facts right.

        • As someone with decent knowledge of ancient Greek I should set the record straight, since the other corrections are not entirely correct themselves. Firstly, you cannot trace the root of android to a compound word. Androgynous is indeed both male and female, however only the first word of the compound is present in "android", so for people who know greek your post came out as very silly.
          So, the correct root is (sorry no utf8 on /.) alpha, nu, eta, rho, pronounced "aneer" which means man. From that root you

        • That is not true. [etymonline.com]

          android
          "automaton resembling a human being," 1727, from Mod.L. androides, from Gk. andro- "human" + eides "form, shape." Listed as "rare" in OED (1879), popularized from c.1951 by science fiction writers.

        • The root of android is androgynous

          It's not. The root of "android" is "andro", meaning "male", "masculine". And the word "androgynous" consists of two roots, the first one of course "andro", and the second one being "gyno", meaning "female", "feminine" (hence "gynecology"). So "androgynous" is really "male/female", which of course essentially matches your definition of it.

      • that was the first time I have ever heard of St. Albertus Magnus [wikipedia.org]. Turns out he was one of Thomas Aquinas's [wikipedia.org] teachers and was one of the first Europeans to isolate Arsenic.

        Sounds like he was a bit of a twat, to be honest.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Cathbard (954906)
      Isn't this similar to why microsoft decided to settle out of court with Lindows. IIRC the judge said with a degree of incredulity "You are trying to claim ownership of the word windows - and anything that sounds similar?" Being able to copyright a single word that is in common usage would be pretty silly. Would make it a bit hard to talk to each other huh?

      Brought to you by Carl's Junior.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by roguetrick (1147853)

        Trademark and Copyright are VERY different ideas.

        • by Cathbard (954906)
          Very true but the case I was referring to was a trademark issue too. Using the word copyright in my post was just a slip of the brain. If they trademarked Android Data and then claim nobody else can use the word android it takes one into pretty crazy waters. Some Trademarks have the word "the" in them too.

          In the windows/lindows case it was clear that claiming all derivatives of a common word like window was never going to fly in court and of course lindows were happy to settle out of court because the name

          • I don't particularly agree with the outcome of Windows/Lindows case myself, but thats beyond why I did the one line reply. The whole discussion was mixing the two terms up. You just came out and said it so I had to throw out my line.

      • by itsdapead (734413)

        Isn't this similar to why microsoft decided to settle out of court with Lindows.

        The fly in the ointment there is not so much that "windows" is used to refer to holes in the walls of houses, but that it also has an established (pre-MS) meaning in the context of computer displays.

        MS Windows is so called because it provides a window-based GUI - and "Lindows" could make the same claim.

        If Microsoft released a new OS called "Wubuntu", "Wed Hat" or "MS Macintosh" then you wouldn't expect them to get away with it, despite those being words in "common usage".

        OTOH, I've seen "Ubuntu cola" o

        • by Cathbard (954906)
          I don't think that is totally true. The judge iirc was surprised that they wanted to claim all derivatives of a common word like window rather than it's usage in the computing world. If the case had have been pursued it would have been extremely interesting.

          Yes, I didn't mean to say copyright, that was a slip up on my part.

        • Well, ubuntu as a word does have a separate existence from the OS.

          (It's mentioned on the ubuntu (OS) web site, and you'll go somewhere other than Canonical's web site if you try to go to http://www.ubuntu.org [ubuntu.org].

      • Would make it a bit hard to talk to each other huh?

        Trademarks govern how entities can advertise and use marks in trade. It has 100% nothing to do with how you talk to people in regular conversation.

        Isn't this similar to why microsoft decided to settle out of court with Lindows. IIRC the judge said with a degree of incredulity "You are trying to claim ownership of the word windows - and anything that sounds similar?"

        No. [wikipedia.org] Microsoft likely settled because the word "window(s)" was already used before trademarki

    • I agree completely, you cannot trademark single words in common use. I am sure someday the courts will go ahead and take care of the few tiny companies who think they have such trademarks. I mean the courts are slow and it isn't like they could be aware of any companies with such trademarks.... In a completely unrelated topic I think there was an announcement today by Apple®....
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by itsdapead (734413)

      If you don't know, it's because Android is just a single word that's been in the modern language for a couple of generations now.

      Let's correct that:

      because android is just a single word that's been in the modern language for a couple of generations now.

      Spot the difference? Neither party is using the word "android" to describe a fictitious type of humanoid robot - they both want to use it as a trading name for their businesses, neither of which involves the manufacture of robotic overlords. This shouldn't even be a problem if one made furniture and the other made chocolate bars - but unfortunately they're both in the data services industry.

      In the same way, neither Apple Inc. or Apple Corp. can prevent grocers selling the fruit of the M

    • The word "apple" has been in the English language since time immemorial [etymonline.com], but that didn't stop both Apple Corp. and Apple Computer.

      The reason "bovine" might be more difficult to use as an exclusive trademark is because it pretty much literally describes the thing it's protecting. This is an example of a descriptive mark [wikipedia.org] being denied trademark exclusivity.

      On the other hand, "android" here would be classified as either an arbitrary or suggestive mark [wikipedia.org], both of which can receive trademark exclusivity through th

  • by moon3 (1530265) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @05:25AM (#27797319)
    The company might be dead on paper, but the trademark is marked 'Live' at USPTO. Both Android trademarks have been filled under same service category, that really means 'collision' from the Office point of view.


    Copy&paste from register reveals same or similar business.

    Word Mark
    ANDROID DATA
    Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S:
    Computer e-commerce software to allow users to perform electronic business transactions via a global computer network. FIRST USE: 19990101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19990101

    Word Mark
    ANDROID
    Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S:
    mobile phones; operating system software; software for use in developing, executing, and running other software on mobile devices, computers, computer networks, and global communication networks; computer software development tools; computer software for use in transmitting and receiving data over computer networks and global communication networks; computer software for managing communications and data exchange among and between mobile devices and desktop computers; computer middleware, namely, software that mediates between the operating system of a mobile device and the application software of a mobile device; computer application software for mobile phones
    • by tverbeek (457094)
      There are a few different questions in play here.

      One is whether the "Android Data" trademark could be valid in the first place: it is. Even though "android" is an ordinary English word, that doesn't mean it can't be used as a trademark. What it means is that it's a legally weak trademark, and unlike an invented name, it isn't a slam-dunk in court if someone tries to appropriate it.

      Another question is whether the trademark is currently valid, and Google infringing on it: technically yes. It was duly re
    • by russotto (537200)

      The company might be dead on paper, but the trademark is marked 'Live' at USPTO. Both Android trademarks have been filled under same service category, that really means 'collision' from the Office point of view.

      The trademark is live on paper but dead in reality. I don't think the former owner of "Android Data" has a case; with trademarks, actual use in commerce is more important than the formality of registration.

      That leaves aside whether there's actually serious possibility of confusion between e-commerc

  • Cyberdyne Systems (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @05:39AM (#27797345) Homepage

    There are a number of real businesses named "Cyberdyne Systems." Good luck to any of them trying to enforce a trademark on the name.

    • There are a number of real businesses named "Cyberdyne Systems." Good luck to any of them trying to enforce a trademark on the name.

      No kidding. Let alone the fact that anything with "cyber" in it just sounds stupid.

  • by wesw02 (846056) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @05:51AM (#27797389)
    I recently took a college class that discussed various issues of software patents and software trademarks. Based on what I learned in my class it seems really unlikely that "Android Data" will win the lawsuit. Not only does Google have virtually unlimited resources, but the term "Android" is a generic one. It is important to note that when trademarking software a trademark is applied to a type of product. What I mean by that is Ford Motors has a trade mark on the term "Mercury" for their car. However this does not prevent the Rhode Island newspaper from using the name. (Someone please feel free to electorate on what I have said :) )
    • Car and newspaper are not of the same class.
      The problem is both Google and its challenger work in the same field!
      Contrary to your analysis, i think Google will have to pay or abandon Android.

    • by dkf (304284)

      (Someone please feel free to electorate on what I have said :) )

      Really? Oh, OK. If you insist. Try the following (and yes, I know this isn't a secret ballot; I don't care)...

      I vote that you used the word "electorate" to mean "elaborate", and that you'd have been better sticking to plain old "expand".

  • What surprises me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by snaz555 (903274) on Saturday May 02, 2009 @07:55AM (#27797867)

    ...is that the estate of Gene Roddenberry hasn't gotten involved yet.

  • as long as you don't need it, or it won't get to sldt, oopss!
  • I suspect google will win this one.

    The android data company is just looking for free publicity. I doubt they can afford to fight the legal battle against google.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by teg (97890)

      The android data company is just looking for free publicity. I doubt they can afford to fight the legal battle against google.

      They're not looking for free publicity - they've been dissolved for many years. They just think that there's a chance they could do a Dire Straits.

  • Why dont they just use GMOBILE it 10 times better name and they already have Gmail

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

Working...