MEMO TO GOOGLE:: IT'S NOT ABOUT DOING EVIL IT'S ABOUT DOING STUPID- OR IS THAT ANDROID?
There's much to admire about Google. But Google's battle with the owner of the registered trademark ANDROID violates several of the vaunted Ten things that Google has found to be true- set forth on Google's web page.
Apparently Google settled on the term ANDROID to identify operating system hardware and software for mobile devices. Not only that but Google helped create an allliance of others involved in the mobile phone industry. And these other folks are ( or will be) using the term ANDROID.
But wait Houston we have a problem. Turns out a small company in Illinois had federally registered the term ANDROID for computer e-commerce software. And now that company has filed a $100 million dollar lawsuit against Google and the 46 other members of the alliance.
This is simply mind boggling. A fundamental violation of the trademark rules of gravity. And an opportunity for me to ask once again "What in the world were they thinking?"
It is impossible to imagine that Google's lawyers failed to discover the fact that someone had already registered the identical term for similar goods. The internal dynamics of any successful company, especially a cash cow like Google operate ( or should operate) something like this:
Lawyer to Marketing Guy: HOLD ON TIGER- do you want to print a multi million dollar lottery ticket for this guy? Your telling me you want us to make a major commitment to the term ANDROID, AND you want to drag in the other members of our alliance BUT we know of somebody using the identical term for software . All I can say is I WON'T SIGN OFF ON IT.
Lawyers don't win all these battles. Thank goodness!! But somebody with a time horizon longer than the next 90 days needed to win this round.
Did anyone think of discreetly contacting the trademark owner BEFORE filing to register the term ANDROID? Or filing an action to cancel the existing federal registration AND THEN contacting the owner? Apparently not.
So Google blithely went ahead. Got rejected by the Trademark Office based squarley on the existence of the guy they had to know about. Making him a semi instant winner.
What were they thinking?