Android Data: Google Strikes Back!


Back in 1999, an Illinois man by the name of Erich Specht started a company, and named it “Android Data.” He filed for a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2000, and his request was granted in 2002.

lawsuit-google-SkanksIf my blunt and lazy foreshadowing wasn’t enough, let me make it plain and clear: Google, we have a problem. Last April, Specht filed a lawsuit over trademark infringement against Samsung, Motorola, Sprint Nextel, and of course, Google. Additionally, he wanted $100 million in damages. The charges were dismissed, leaving Google as the only remaining defendant.

Obviously, Google can’t let this one go. So what do they do? Counter sue!  Google is suing for punitive damages, attorney fees, denial of payments requested, and an order for the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel Specht’s “Android Data” registration.

Both lawsuits are still in progress. Google is expected to settle if they lose, or possibly even before. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on this situation!

[Via BusinessInsider]

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  1. What I don’t understand is, this guy’s trademark license expired back in ’04 or something. So if it was expired, and his company was not making anymore business during this time (way before android was even released, let alone announced) then what legal ground does he have to stand on? His trademark lapsed, and yeah google didn’t try to get the trademark themselves, but if his “patent”, “copyright”, or “trademark” was expired, then there shouldn’t be anything that he can do. (Plus he didn’t say or do anything till he saw that it was going to make lot’s of money.) ((Plus Plus: Doesn’t George Lucas own the copyright to android, or is that just Droid?))

  2. just Droid from what I understand.
    He is sueing cause he is greedy and saw the possibility to make a ton of money.

  3. Jon you are correct. I bet he thought that one of the above compaines would just settle out of court. Glad Google is striking back.

  4. He filed for trademark protection, not a patent.

  5. Ok, so trademark protection. His trademark was still expired, so at the time of the release of android, he didn’t own the trademark anymore. He shouldn’t have a leg to stand on…

  6. how can a suit like this even get into court? unless i’m not understanding something…his patent was for “android data” and google is just for “android” OS isn’t it? I mean if thats the case then Star Trek should be suing this guy because if i recall…Data is an android……i really have no idea how patents and the legal system works but i find it sad that people try to take the easy way out and refuse to earn their money….i hope this guy loses in court

  7. this is just a sign of the times. sue sue sue. can’t work hard to make a buck? just sue someone.

    the legal system is only going to get worse. the sky is falling.

  8. … not one that couldn’t be easily taken care of by a “freak accident”. Love is a battlefield.

  9. I suggest you change “a patent” to “trademark protection” in the 2nd sentence, as Paul suggested. That inaccuracy makes this entire article deeply confusing to anyone vaguely familiar with patents and trademarks. I ended up reading two other articles to get this straightened out for myself (one being Rob’s article from May which is a good overview for this article: ).

  10. I highly doubt Google will lose. Their lawyers are scary.

  11. Hey guys – it’s called business – that’s what these companies HAVE to do. Think of it as the equivalent of a skirmish – the forerunner to “COMMERCE WARS” (Copyright 2009 ITsManaged Pty. Ltd..) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  12. I dont think we should be allowed to patent words without having some kind of buisness or product behind it. Whether he has trademark protection on it or not, he does not own, run or produce anything that uses or makes “Android Data”. At this point its just two words. Some laws are so stupid. Its all about money these days.

  13. Actually this is kind of funny.

    Google threatens to sue that guy that is releases his own android images which include the google apis. Which have been released in open source. violating the open source copy rights and trademarks.

    Now they turn around and try to sue some guy for trying to inforce his copyrights, trademarks, and other such… I hope the Google lawyers see the duplicity in this before its to late.

    Otherwise I hope these google lawyers get charged with fraud, disbarred and imprisoned.

  14. even this stupid company called AOL is suing everyone with the name “ad” in their domain name.

    There’s a point where ridiculous BS is just too much.

  15. Perhaps a few of you clowns that prematurely comment on this stuff should actually look into what occurred. The guy had a product, renewed his trademark, and owned it. Plain and simple. This is why people get copyrights and trademarks (he did not get a patent which a few of you write as misinformation). Stealing is stealing… and the hammer will fall on the giant in this case.

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