Google Sued Over Android Name… But Was It Actually Being Used?
from the i'm-looking...-but-not-finding dept
A whole bunch of people have been sending in varieties of the story that Google has been sued by a guy named Erich Specht, who holds a trademark on the term “Android Data,” supposedly for Android Data Corporation, the company he apparently runs. Google recently applied for a trademark on “Android” in association with its mobile operating system, and had it rejected, due to worries over confusion with Specht’s trademark. Based on that, Specht is now suing Google and pretty much anyone who’s ever mentioned the possibility of partnering with Google and using the Android OS (over 40 companies are listed).
It’s a bit surprising that Google wasn’t more sure of the name before launching its operating system, but even then, the lawsuit (and the trademark rejection) seems odd and troubling. First… I can’t seem to find any evidence online of Android Data Corporation doing anything. In order to hold a trademark, you’re supposed to be using the mark in commerce. At best, I can find a parked homepage, and one random listing in a directory. It’s hard to see how that’s “use in commerce” though perhaps there are technology businesses out there that don’t involve having a webpage. Second, it’s hard to see why the trademark application was rejected. What this guy is doing (developing software and hosting websites) seems wholly unrelated to a mobile operating system, and not at all confusing. It seems quite unlikely that anyone would confuse the two at all. Chances are that Mr. Specht sees this as a chance to cash in, and get Google to pay up.