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Google, OHA Members Sued Over Android Trademark

Google first announced the Android mobile operating system in 2007. Too bad for Google and the Open Handset Alliance that the name had already been trademarked. Now, comes the lawsuit.
Google first announced the Android mobile operating system in 2007. Too bad for Google and the Open Handset Alliance that the name had already been trademarked. Now, comes the lawsuit.The story goes something like this. A man named Erich Specht formed a company called Android Data Corporation and trademarked the name back in 2002. Google tried to trademark Android in 2007, just before its big announcement. The application was rejected.

Google attempted to have the name Android trademarked several more times, and it has been rejected each time. In fact, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has suspended Google's application.

Now, Specht is seeking a payday. He wants $94 million in damages and also wants Google and the Open Handset Alliance to stop using the name. He believes it creates confusion in the marketplace. Specht is due to appear in court next week, and Google will have 60 days to respond.

Given the numerous rejections, it might seem that Google is up a creek without a paddle. However, Specht has a copyright on "Android Data", not "Android." Is that enough of a difference to, er, differentiate? Google and the OHA assuredly must hope so.

The most likely outcome will be, Google retains the rights to use the name, but has to fork over a big sum of money to Specht. Only time will tell.

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