A couple of weeks ago, rumors suggested HTC’s follow-up to the HTC One (otherwise known as the HTC M8) would be called the HTC One+. That belief stems from leaked ROM files containing information about the phone, in which it was referred to as “One+.” It doesn’t sound like a terrible name, right? It just “sounds right,” and it would allow HTC to continue building on the “One” brand they’ve been building since early 2012.
But a recently discovered trademark filing reveals HTC might have a bit of trouble launching a smartphone with that name (should the aforementioned rumor turn out to be accurate). Pete Lau’s OnePlus — the company spawned from bushy-eyed former Oppo executives who are going to help CyanogenMod create their first phone — seems to own the One+ trademark here in the United States.
USPTO trademark filing #86108163 describes a character mark that consists of the word “One” with the plus symbol following it. That mark is owned by Shenzhen Oneplus Science & Technology Co., which we know to be the full, official company name of OnePlus. The trademark filing covers a broad range of consumer electronics, including tablets and mobile phones.
The filing was registered November 1st, 2013, just shy of two weeks before we first broke the story that CyanogenMod and an unknown partner had teamed up to create a new smartphone built for and by CyanogenMod from the ground up.
If true, HTC might be facing some legal trouble by using “HTC One+” for the name of their next smartphone. You might ask yourself how HTC was able to get away with the HTC One’s name in the first place, but the Taiwanese company only owns “HTC One” as a whole, and not “One” or any other form or variation of it.
Trademark laws can be quite finnicky, so it’s tough to say what would happen should HTC go through with alleged plans to name their next big smartphone the HTC One+. HTC likely has a team of very competent lawyers behind them, so if they do go through with it then that means they were probably able to find a keen loophole that would help them avoid any legal ramifications.
Otherwise, it definitely isn’t too late to change the phone’s name considering it isn’t even official yet. We expect HTC to remove the curtains from the device next month once they take the stage at Mobile World Congress, so it won’t be long before we find out what they decided on.