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
    Chucky Sly, 7 Jan 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Culture

    But isn't that what we work for? To pass the fruit of our labor to our children (assuming we have them)?

    To diss her for (albeit misguidedly) trying to protect her father's work is kinda twisted. I think it's the lack of appreciation the fact that her father has influenced the general culture that makes her look ugly in this regard.

    I would hope that when I die, any works that I may have created would profit my children and that they would, in return, work to protect it.

    She should maybe take a clue from Arthur C. Clarke. You don't see his progeny suing the creators of the Waldo. He concieved the idea and even thought up the name, but I have no knowledge of fruitless lawsuits being thrown around.

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