Eric Specht started a company called Android Data Corporation in Palatine, Illinois. Specht won a trademark for the term “Android Data” in 2002 after filing in 2000. Google applied for the Android trademark in October 2007, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the application because it was too similar to Specht’s trademark.
Google appealed the decision by saying that Specht lost the claim due to inactivity. One of Google’s lawyers pointed out that Android Data Corp. dissolved in May 2004 and failed to re-register the website URL at one point. But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the appeal and suspended their trademark application. Now Specht is seeking $94 million in trademark infringements between Google and every other company listed in the Open Handset Alliance.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. The list of defendants include Motorola, Qualcomm, Sprint Nextel, Samsung, Toshiba, China Mobile, Telefonica, Vodafone, etc.
“Basically, it’s a stolen name,” stated Martin Murphy, Specht’s attorney. “It’s our trademark, and Google is using it as if it’s theirs.” Specht recently decided to file the lawsuit because he thought Android was a mobile phone. He did not know it was software beforehand.