Dozens of companies sued over Android name

A case started in an Illinois district court on the 28th of April alleging that a whole raft of companies have breached trademark law by using the word “Android”.

Erich Specht, who trades as the Android Data Corporation and the Android’s Dungeon Incorporated is suing Google, the Open Handset Alliance, KDDI Corporation, NTT DoCoMo, Softbank, Spring Nextel, T-Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Vodafone, AKM Semiconductor, Audience, ARM, Atheros, Broadcom, Ericsson, Intel, Marvell Semiconductor, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Sirf Technology, Synaptics, Texas Instruments, Asustek, IITC, Huawei, LG Electronics, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, Ascender, Ebay, Living Image, Myriad, Nuance Communications, Omron Software, Packet Video,SkyPop, Sonivox, Aplix, Borqs, Noser Engineering, TAT – the Astonishing Tribe, Teleca, Wind River and Garmin International.

Whew. Why?

Mr Specht says he is a software developer and ISP. He develops software under the name Android Data for remote administration of web sites. He said he chose the name Android Data “to communicate the seamless, almost robotic-like, bi-directional communication of data between a client and a data center in a remote location”.

He filed the trademark Android Data on the 4th of June 2000, an application that was granted on the 22nd October 2002.  He said the PTO required him to insert that no claim was made to the exclusive right to use “data”. Google filed an application for the word “Android” on the 31st October 2007. The Open Handset Alliance consisted of 34 members, initially. 

The PTO refused Google’s proposed Android mark because it could be confused with Mr Specht’s. He wants the court to enjoin these companies not to use the word Android, and award him damages.