Philip K. Dick Estate Sends Google Cease And Desist Over Nexus One Name

from the money-grab dept

Last month, we noted that Philip K. Dick's daughter was quite upset about the fact (at the time, unconfirmed) that Google was going to call its new phone, the Nexus One -- insisting that this was a ripoff of the Nexus-6 robots from Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. It's difficult to see any legal basis whatsoever for the claim, but we wondered if Google might just choose a different name anyway. Instead, it launched with the Nexus One name, and it took little time for the Dick Estate's lawyers to send a cease & desist, claiming that it will sue Google for "trademark infringement." There are a few problems with that, of course. The Dick Estate does not have a trademark on Nexus anything. Nor could it get one since it does not use the term in commerce. Oh, and since the phone is in a totally different business, it likely wouldn't violate the trademark that the Dick Estate couldn't get anyway. So how does Dick's daughter respond?
"People don't get it," Isa Dick Hackett said. "It's the principle of it."
I'm trying to figure out just what "principle" that might be, because there doesn't seem to be any legal principle. It's hard to argue that there's any moral principle either, since "nexus" is a word that's been around since well before Philip K. Dick used it. In fact, the only matter of principle I can think of is the one where someone demands money for something where they clearly have no right to it and have done nothing to deserve it. Like demanding a big company pay up because it has a product named sorta similar to something your dad wrote decades ago.

Filed Under: nexus one, philip k. dick
Companies: google


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2010 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re:Re: WTF?

    I feel it is in my best interest to inform you, and all people that I wrote a short story quite a bit ago. In it, I use the terms 'Response To' and 'Re: Your Message'. As I clearly own the copyright on those since they appeared multiple times in my story 'Email Romance', I also own clear derivations of. Of such, this post, and indeed, over 50% of the posts on the blog violate my copyrights.

    This is a C&D notice that you must get rid of all these trademark violations. If you do not, I will have to sue and ask for billions. Willing to negotiate a lower settlement.

    ...

    At least, that is what you indicate is the right to deal with something like that.

    ...

    Well damn. How much do we owe Webster's Dictionary now? I mean... no. Every word I write is another in that book. And possibly others. ... Curse the instant ownership of all combination of words you put down, and any sub combination there of.

    ...

    Would 'System 6' be infringing? Cloud 6? I mean, it IS _____ 6 just like it is Nexus __.

    That is all.

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