OnePlus trademark means HTC might have to find a new name for their next flagship

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.

one plus trademark

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.

OnePlus site header

 

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.

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  • Ben

    So if HTC One was good enough, what’s to stop them from trademarking HTC One+?

    • TimmyB44

      Good question, Ben, but I believe they’d run into trouble on that. NO ONE owns the trademark “One”, whereas this other company DOES own “ONE+”, so it would probably be shot down. “OnePlus”, on the other hand, …?

      • Ben

        I guess I wasn’t totally clear. Why not trademark “HTC One+” or “HTC One Plus” if that’s what they want? That should make it pretty clear it’s not the same.
        OTOH HTC doesn’t really have the money to be fighting a bunch of legal battles over a name They should just call it the HTC One Up.

  • Hotzigetty

    It’s not a patent filing, it’s a trademark filing..

  • Bill Kendrick

    I vote for HTC One + One. Next year they can release the HTC One Two and One + Two, haha.

    • Henri Weich Conradie

      Numerical humour. It isn’t funny very often but when it is it’s a one-liner.

    • squiddy20

      If I’m not mistaken, One+ (the company) has a phone in the pipeline with that exact name.

  • Jerel Butler

    I don’t get why phone companies don’t keep the same name like cars? Would be so hard to say HTC one 2014 model?

    • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

      Hey, I like driving my Jeep Grand Cherokee 21 4G LTE.

      • Henri Weich Conradie

        Derek. Troll level – king. (one-hand clapping follows). Trololol.

    • JointhePredacons

      I think they tried that with the iPad and it confused apple fans. Thats why we have the iPad Air, lol. Then again those are Apple fans, dumb to begin with.

  • pr0xidian

    Why not call it the HTC one √ or the HTC one up. Or even the HTC One Amp. lots of cool names are still available.

    • Henri Weich Conradie

      I like the idea of the root symbol. It’s creative, truly. Pronounce it as root. Imagine how unique your device name will be and how cool ads would look and sound for it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/OtisFeelgood1 OtisFeelgood

    Why not just name it “HTC Two”? o_O >_>

    • Tomato88

      I was thinking the same. In the same way, they won’t even have to worry about the names of future flagship devices or trademark troubles.

    • cammykool

      then it makes it seem worse then the One

      • http://www.twitter.com/OtisFeelgood1 OtisFeelgood

        So the iPhone 5 seem worse than the iPhone 4? The Galaxy S4 seem worse than the Galaxy S3?

        • cammykool

          Good point.

  • user311

    Anyone else think that One was a poor choice of naming? At least they didn’t choose OneS…

    • Henri Weich Conradie

      It was a short name but kind of catchy, in retrospect.

  • WhoaManWtF

    This is a patent troll basically, they filed for the name after the One was already launched. This is the kind of utter crap that needs to be fixed, they have no product they don’t deserve the trademark!

    • Henri Weich Conradie

      Traders gonna trade, I guess.

  • MITM

    HTC shouldve just stuck with the EVO branding. It sounds good and its name is still recognizable.

    let the HTC Evo be the worldwide flagship name, and play with the name a bit for variants and such.

    • Kevin

      I think Sprint actually owns the EVO brand, or at least it’s exclusively assosciated with sprint. There’s never been an Evo phone on any other carrier in the US, but there may have been internationally.

      HTC One is a great name….until it comes to next year. The only way to maintain the brand is like what google does with the Nexus. HTC One (2013) or HTC One (2014). Then just get someone with actual marketing talent to point out that it’s the “NEW” HTC One every year.

    • CGS

      Completely agree although Kevin is right, I wish HTC could own the name or something. I loved my EVO and I always loved the name of it. HTC EVO sounds better than HTC One. Ha.

  • DDroid45

    I think this is BS, htc been using ONE since the oneX, oneS, oneV, oneX+, HTC one, and what ever else I didn’t mention and these A holes wanna try to mess things up, they may produce crap anyway

  • WORPspeed

    Though it is a minor setback…..what was HTC thinking?
    HTC One
    HTC One+
    HTC One-
    HTC One more?

    What else can you do append besides a + or an x?
    The One+ might’ve bought them a year, but eventually they’d have to step away from this naming scheme, so not a big deal that it came ONE iteration earlier than intenden

    HTC Two would be a better name for a successor, it provides a naming scheme they can keep for longer than having it all build upon HTC One (x/+/-)

    • NOT RahmEmanuel

      Well, just off the top of my head…

      HTC One Plus

      HTC One Prime

      HTC One² (and etc.)

      .

      • WORPspeed

        Very good, didn;t think of those.
        Still I don’t find that a good naming scheme for successors in the same line.
        It sounds ,more like separate versions as in:
        Galaxy S4
        Galaxy S4 Zoom
        Galaxy S4 Mega
        Galaxy S4 Mini
        etc

        They don’t really sound like a follow-up…but that could just be me.

  • Toss3

    HTC only needs to up the MPx of the camera to at least 6-8, put in a 3000mAh battery and make the oversized bezels disappear.

  • yewslus

    HTC One-Up. Problem solved

  • Lactose_the_Intolerant

    2014: HTC One Two
    2015: HTC One Three
    2016: HTC One Four
    etc
    etc

    • JointhePredacons

      Just HTC TWO, HTC THREE, lol

      • Lactose_the_Intolerant

        The One could be a line… similar to Mercedes Benz GLK class — GLK 250, GLK 350, etc.

  • JointhePredacons

    The author answered his own question without realizing it. When he said HTC does not own “ONE” but “HTC ONE” all together. They could trademark “HTC ONE+” all together and it doesnt infringe on “one+” They could just make it easier and call it the “HTC TWO”

  • JointhePredacons

    One+ sounds too much like ONEx. Dont think they should be reminding us of that.

  • squiddy20

    Yes, HTC is in a ton of trouble because it’s soooo hard to change the name of a device that is several weeks (and more likely months) away from any sort of unveiling…

    • No_Nickname90

      What would you call the next version of the HTC One besides HTC One+?

      While name changes may be easy, it’s actually coming up with a name that may be difficult.

      Though I’m sure they already have a name seeing as the device is supposedly being revealed in a few months.

      • squiddy20

        Have you not seen the other comments? HTC Two. HTC One One. HTC One-Up (possibly followed by One-Up Squared). Take your pick.

        I just thought of HTC One.1 (followed by One.2, etc) or HTC One A (followed by One B). Or they could abandon the One naming convention entirely. After all, One X to just plain old One doesn’t make much sense anyway.

      • Ben Moliere

        HTC One Square (1^2) and the follow up One Cube (1^3)

  • Henri Weich Conradie

    My co-worker’s cousin’s brother’s wife thinks you need to have some arsenic with your next meal.

  • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

    HTC -1 with slogan (Quietly we abandon you)

  • Paul Thomas

    I recently opened my business in Miami, and needed a Trademark Attorney to protect my company’s name. Internet research had me feeling completely lost. Then, a business associate of mine referred me to the law office of Levy, Levy & Sosa, to whom I gingerly presented my case and surprisingly, without any hassle, my trademarking process was over! Contact the professionals at Levy, Levy and Sosa today 1-800-464-5554 or visit their website http://www.trademarklaw101.com/practice-areas/trademarks for more info on trademark law.

  • No_Nickname90

    Plot twist.
    They license the name and there’s a Sense version, Google Edition, and CM version.

  • Ben Moliere

    Frankly I couldn’t care less about the name. What I want most is for it to kick ass, 3gb ram, SD805, 8-10 ultrapixel, the screen resolution is good enough as is (for me). And I will just call mine, “HTC One Mine!”