nav search
Data Centre Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes

back to article
Google sued for 'stealing' Android name

This topic is closed for new posts.

Trademarks aren't patents

Trademarks are partly for the protection of the consumer (but also help the owner). Think of buying a camera on Ebay. If some tries to sell you a Cannon camera and you think you're buying Canon. Trademark means that if they are 'passing off' the fake Cannon brand as Canon then the seller can be sued. It allows consumers to make mistakes but still get the brand they expected.

Now of course IP lawyers, being lawyers, try and use the law for extortion. However, the law on trademarks isn't that bad and nowhere near as mad as US patent law. US companies do register their tag lines but "The best a man can get" being registered is the whole phrase - not words, since you can't register generic terms and you have to look at the categories for registration. You can't register the single word 'best' for instance in any category.

Not so long ago there was the story of a Russian who thought he'd brought the 'patent' to some word or other, clearly sold a trademark by an unscrupulous lawyer who should have known better, so if you don't know the difference between Trademark and Patent, I'm sure there is someone out there who'd be pleased to take your money.

This on the other hand is a plain FU by Google.


To all those who said...

...the Windows trademark only applies to 'Microsoft Windows' specifically, and not Windows.

You must have very short memories.

Do you not remember 'Lindows'?

Whilst I'm no fan of Google, when I first read this article, I thought that the guy must be a trademark troll. Looking at the website (which is now listed by google; it's third in the list) to be honest I'm not all that convinced he's not a troll now either. It's something that looks like it could have been knocked up in a couple of hours or less. A swift whois reveals an apparent creation date of 20 April 2009.

What gets me is why on earth just because something is a piece of software it has to have a unique name; the two pieces of software do completely different things, for Goodness sake. One is a mobile OS and one deals with web content (and is vapourware by the looks of it).



Way back when?

holding page in Dec 01 & Jan 02 then nothing till 2009...*/


Googling Android Data

The page now appears in the results of a Google Search however its not the top of the list, if i was paranoid I'd assume they put it back in the results to avoid comments like those above however my cynical side this that it wasnt there because Google cannot index a page that doesn't exist and even google with its near endless server farms can index the whole internet in one night...


To the happily ignorant

Look, I know most of us are in IT, but to all those idiots saying "I can't find a website, so he's obviously just a troll" --

Not all companies, even those in IT, have a website. The existence, lack of, or registration date of a website has literally nothing to do with the existence of a company. Has the Internet really retarded or regressed your development so much that you actually believe that a company doesn't exist if it doesn't have a website?

This guy properly filed for a trademark registration in June 2000, registering the name of his company. Now, almost nine years later, you're calling him a troll because he's performing his legal obligation of protecting his trademark. There's a reason the USPTO denied Google's trademark registration. For an organization that loves to grant everything possible, that should be a very telling sign.

Imagine if someone decided to make a software app and call it "Linux" or "OSX". Do you think Linus or Apple wouldn't go after the person/company to make them stop using the name? Do you really think it WOULDN'T be confusing to have two pieces of software with the same name?

And this is about a trademark, NOT a patent. Is it really that difficult to read and understand the article before you open your mouth and prove your ignorance?


@Chris C

"Android Data" : Computer e-commerce software to allow users to perform electronic business transactions via a global computer network

"Android" (Google's use of it): Computer operating system for mobile phones

Different things entirely (not to mention Google's use is only of the word Android, not Android Data which implies something different.

Regarding point 4: "Two people/companies cannot register the same trademark in the same goods & service category.", I don't know how it works in the US, but in the UK it's not necessarily use in the same category, but simply "passing off" someone else's trademark to represent the same business. You can have two companies using similar trademarks in the computer business, so long as they don't represent the same business and products.

However the bigger the company and lawyers, the easier it is to protect your trademark even if the other company doesn't represent your business at all (e.g. McDonalds vs a number of businesses using the 'Mc' prefix even though most of them don't sell burgers). Part of that is because it's easier to confuse an unknown company with a similar name to a very famous company, than it is with two relatively unknown companies.

In this case it's more likely that Android Data is too easily confused with Google's Android rather than the way round they reckon, which is why their claim is pointless. The infringement on the "passing off" rule doesn't apply as they are two very different products that don't attempt to represent each other.


Would you really want to p*ss off google?

They could make you effectively vanish from the intarweb!

if (search_result->domain_name=="") {



Anonymous Coward


I quite like "Adroid", intentional or not.

Google are an ad broker, and the name reflects that.


This is not the 'droid you are looking for

Do not underestimate the Dork Side of the Force!


Same thing happened...

...with Rhapsody - Realmedia released it, and then a band that had been going for years with several albums under their belt had to change their name. :)



This topic is closed for new posts.

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing