Google sued by Dick

Posted on January 10, 2010


It seems that Google has done things… questionable things.

Google is no stranger to being sued, usually following the launch of a new product. In the true tradition of US legal cases (see Bing versus Bing) Google is now being sued for using a name for one of its new products that someone else claims to hold the rights to.

Google’s new ‘Android’ phone is called the Nexus One, not to be confused with the Nexus-1 androids from Philip K. Dick’s novel, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

The novel, in case you haven’t heard of it, was made into a rather famous (but not very successful at the time) movie called Bladerunner. The Nexus-1, ironically, were androids… see where Google is getting this from?

Philip K. Dick’s family are now mightily perturbed by Google’s use of names from his book, and as his daughter Isa Dick Hackett stated, they weren’t even consulted on the choice of name. Isa has contacted Google insisting that they change the name of their new mobile phone. She stated:

Google takes first and then deals with the fallout later.

In my mind, there is a very obvious connection to my father’s novel. People don’t get it. It’s the principle of it.

It would be nice to have a dialogue. We are open to it. That’s a way to start.

The Nexus One is a direct competitor to Apple’s iPhone, and represents Google’s first serious venture into the mobile phone market. Google has tried to cover its tracks, claiming that their ‘Android’ phone being named the Nexus One has nothing to do with the Nexus androids from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Google claims that the name Nexus means ‘a place where things converge’.

This argument is sure to rage for some time.

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