back to article Google fails to grab Nexus name

Google has demonstrated that it too can name a phone without waiting until it owns the name: its attempt to get Nexus One recognised as a trade mark has been rejected. Google filed for a trademark on "Nexus One" in December, but the rejection of that filing was noted up by Why The Lucky - though an appeal is likely on the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the gPhone

    Call it the gPhone, I'm sure Jobs would just L-O-V-E that.

    1. Peter Storm

      or how about...

      the Chromophone?

  2. Lottie

    The Dicks

    I can see why Mr Dicks family might be murmuring about copyright and whatnot. It's not too far away from selling the phone as "the only handset to see C beams glittering off the tannenhause gate" or whatever the correct quote is.

    1. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

      When the battery gives out....

      it'll flash up ""

    2. Paul Simmonds

      Attack ships on fire....... the Shoulder of Orion.

      Actually, there might be a legal loop hole here that Google could possibly use - call the phone it the C-Beam - as the quote is supposedly an ad-lib by Rutger Hauer and not in the script as written.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      That falls in the lap of Ridley Scott

      ...PKD has nothing to do with THAT.

  3. Torben Mogensen

    Why doesn't Google use Google?

    One would think that the first thing you do when you get an idea for a product name is to search for the name using Google, possibly together with a few keywords to eliminate irrelevant hits. One would think that a Google search for Nexus+phone would have turned up the previous product (if you make the search now, all you get is about Nexus One, but that wouldn't have been the case last year).

    However, I fail to see how Phillip K. Dick (or his heirs) should have any trademark on the term "android". While he did write a book called "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", he was not the first to use the term for artificial humanoids. According to Wikipedia, the term goes back at least to 1270 and came into common use in the 1860s.

    1. bluesxman

      A mixed bag

  4. tvsegon


    I think Motorola handled this entire phone-naming frenzy in a bit more or a mature fashion.

    When they first announced that they were naming their first Android phone the "Droid" I immediately thought of Star Wars, and apparently they did too, as they officially licensed the term from Lucasfilm and even used various Star Wars references and such in promotional materials.

    Thinking ahead and not just blindly jumping into a legal scrum, that's crazy talk!

  5. Lewis Mettler 1

    paying for IE

    Paying for IE is nothing compared to paying Lindows to stop using Lindows. Windows as a trademark was going down. Almost certainly. And that is why Microsoft (who brought the original law suit against Lindows) paid Lindows to change its name ot Linspire instead. Hate to have an unqualified tradename lost, right?

    Windows today remains subject to challange by just about anyone. SUSE Windows, Xandros Windows, Fedora Windows or what have you. And you are almost guaranteed to get Microsoft to pay millions to have you stop.

    Windows is not a valid trademark or tradename and never will be. But, Microsoft is willing to pay millions to pay anyone off who tries to use a similar name.

    Need thirty large? Take a copy of Linux and release it as Linux Windows. You'll get your money every time since Microsoft can not afford to have the name disqualified in a court of law.

  6. David Simpson 1
    Thumb Down

    Patent madness

    " The word derives from ανδρός, the genitive of the Greek ανήρ anēr, meaning "man", and the suffix -eides, used to mean "of the species; alike" (from eidos, "species"). Though the word derives from a gender-specific root, its usage in English is usually gender neutral. The term was first mentioned by St. Albertus Magnus in 1270[3] 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 human-like toy automatons.[4]

    The term "droid", invented by George Lucas in Star Wars (1977) but now used widely within science fiction, originated as an abbreviation of "android", but has been used by Lucas and others to mean any robot, including distinctly non-humaniform machines like R2-D2. Another abbreviation, "andy", coined as a pejorative by writer Philip K. Dick in his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, has seen some limited further currency, e.g., in the TV series Total Recall 2070.[5]"

    How do these idiots get away with patenting this word at all, that includes George Lucas or Phillip K Dick.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Not patent -- trademark!

      Copyrights and Patents don't enter into play here.

      And as it is a trademark, and PKD's estate doesn't exactly trade in phones or androids sitting in front of switchboards, they can just stuff it.

      But hey, the American Dream to Get Rich By Lawyer-Fuelled State-Imposed Monopoly With No Work Done will never die.

      1. Oninoshiko

        not completely...

        You are correct that it's not a patant, but I believe the PKD estate is claiming that google's use if violating their copyrights.

        The argument is that "Android" alone is not enough (there is a rich and old history behind the word) "Nexus" alone is not enough (same reson), but you take the two, put them together with a number it's clearly a reference to PKD's work, and under the current law they have a point.

        Of course this is EXACTLY why copyrights should not extend beyond 56 years. (It wouldn't apply in this case, as DADOES is only 42 years old, so it would need to ripen another 14 years before being public domain, but it does show just how fast works move to being thought of as part of our common cultures.)

  7. James Woods

    selling trademarks?

    I never knew you could sell a trademark. That sounds like complete bullshit to me.

    It's a slow-legal process that you go through to gain the rights of a name. If trademarks are able to be bought and sold my head iseither in the clouds and this is already going on or this is a great business idea, just reg good trademarks and wait to sell em.

    1. Pandy06269

      Of course

      "just reg good trademarks and wait to sell em."

      Just like domain names.

  8. Max 6

    Correction: Integra Doesn't Sell to the Oil Industry

    IIRC, Integra specifically *excludes* the use of the name for that industry.


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