October 30, 2014

Google's Android Lawsuit

court_caseIf Erich Specht  gets his way, his company Android Data Corp.,  will receive nearly $100 million in damages from Google and the entire Open Handset Alliance over use of the term “Android.”  Google believes the claims don’t have any merit and claim they “will defend vigorously against them.”

“Basically, it’s a stolen name…  It’s our trademark, and Google is using it as if it’s theirs.”  -Specht’s attorney, Martin Murphy

Other companies named in the lawsuit include Motorola, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, and Qualcomm.  In fact, all members of the Open Handset Alliance are involved.

Google applied for a trademark on Android in October 2007 right before the public announcement of the Open Handset Alliance.  The trademarkwas rejected a few months later, citing similarity to Specht’s existing trademark.  Specht incorporated his firm in 1998 and applied for a trademark for “Android Data” which was related to online shopping software in 2000.

Specht hadn’t taken action up until this month because it was only recently that he realized Android was software and not just an actual phone.  Specht has an uphill battle as he has to prove that people are likely to confuse his mark with Google’s.

In the short term, Murphy plans to file a temporary restraining order seeking a preliminary injunction sometime this week asking for all Google Android-branded products to be pulled from the market and repackaged under a different name.

We’ll keep you updated with this one as it unfolds.  If we were to forecast this one, it ends in a nice chunk of money to go away.