Android trademark infringement case thrown out, Google pleasedDecember 22, 2010: 9:14 AM ET
The plaintiff's original trademark, Android Data, was also canceled.
Imagine Paul Specht's surprise and delight in 2008 when Google (GOOG) announced that it would be calling its new phone operating system "Android" (Google bought Android in 2005, Andy Rubin bought the domain years earlier). Specht previously had a company called "Android Data" a decade ago, which at the time he trademarked with the USPTO. The trademark was granted in 2002.
But 2002 was the tail end of the dot com bubble and Specht's business went under. He tried to sell the company, including the Android Data trademark, but no one would buy it. That is, until Specht (and likely some legal types) heard about Google's Android plans. They sprang into action quickly throwing up an Android Data website to "prove" he was still using his abandoned trademark.
So, as any stereotypically litigation-happy American would, he took Google to court asking for a $94 million in "damages." Maybe Google would just settle, rather than risk losing their Android trademark? They make $94 million in the time it takes to read this post.
Google fought and a judge ruled today that Google was not liable for trademark damages and stripped Specht of his trademark in the face of Android, the Google phone brand, lest there be any confusion there.
Chalk one up for common sense.
Google provided the statement:
"We are pleased to see this case dismissed, as it was baseless from the start."