Small Business Owner Sues Google & Others Over ‘Android’ Name

Open Handset AllianceAn Illinois small business owner is suing Google and 46 other companies because he says they’re infringing on his business name: Android Data. Forbes reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday, and seeks almost $100 million in damages from Google and all other companies in the Open Handset Alliance, which includes T-Mobile, Motorola, Toshiba, Sprint Nextel, Qualcomm, and others.

Erich Specht formed Android Data in 1998, and had the name trademarked in 2002. His attorney, Martin Murphy, gave this statement to Forbes:

“Basically, it’s a stolen name. It’s our trademark, and Google is using it as if it’s theirs.”

Forbes reports that the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Specht’s trademark in 2002, then rejected Google’s trademark application in 2008 because it was too similar to Specht’s.

Specht apparently doesn’t have a web site, but this company profile page describes the business as “Computer Processing and Data Preparation and Processing Services.” Google has previously questioned whether Specht’s company is still active, but the PTO continued to reject Google’s appeals of the trademark ruling.

A Google spokesperson tells Forbes that the company believes Specht’s claims have no merit and Google “will defend vigorously against them.”

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Legal | Google: Mobile | Legal: Trademarks

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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