Trademark Wars: ChaCha, XOOM Taken to the Gauntlet


It’s nothing new to hear about patent and trademark infringements in the Android market. Whether it be OEMs or developers, someone’s registered patent or trademark is always being infringed upon. Even Google “stole” Android at some point. That’s been settled with some ridiculous amount of money, of course.

And now HTC and Motorola find themselves in the fire yet again. They’re not new to legal troubles – having had to defend themselves from several hardware and software patent infringements in recent years – so we’re not sure how severe we can consider these cases to be.

HTC sees themselves causing trouble with their HTC ChaCha, one of the two “Facebook” phones introduced at Mobile World Congress last week. I’m sure the folks at ChaCha Search Incorporated aren’t too happy about that. They make a search engine that provides answers to some of the world’s most common questions and have been around for quite some time. I’ve even stumbled across them a few times in my Googlin’.

Then there’s Motorola and the XOOM. They’ve infringed on a lesser-known (at least in the tech world) infringement, but that doesn’t mean they’re in any less trouble. Xoom Corp deals with money transfer, and if they really want to, they could get some money transferred right from Motorola’s Chicagoan bank accounts. (That was an awesome pun, wasn’t it? I’m trademarking that.)

Both companies have already filed an infringement suit. We’ll likely see these cases settled out of court with a big pile of money thrown at the violated companies, but anything could happen. We’ll keep our eyes on this one. [Justia, FOSS Patents via TechCrunch]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I think its stupid. They do completely different things you can’t just trademark everything.

    Also,”settled out of court with a big pile of many”.

  2. And then all words in the dictionary are taken.. Then what..

  3. Just another example of greed. Why settle with these companies over names? Especially the htc cha cha. Its a freakin’ dance! Really?! This has gotten ridiculous! I would just tie this crap up in court till these relatively unknown companies slink away back into whatever hole they crawled out of.

  4. @No_you – then people start making up words like “ChaCha” and “Xoom”.

  5. i thought if it was a different product then it didnt matter. if it was a phone called chacha then fair enough. but a search engine?? lol. thts two completely different things. by that logic then ChaCha should of got into trouble by whoever invented the dance! i hope whoever judges this throws both cases straight out.

  6. We all remember the difference between ‘Apple Computers’ (Steve) and ‘Apple Corp’ (The Beatles)… since they could be easily confused..

  7. In the case of ChaCha, all HTC need do is provide what the meaning of ChaCha is. I’m sure there’s something that it represented before the search company picked it up as their name. Xoom might be a bit harder though.

  8. This is funny, because I am sure that the money wire folks choose “Xoom” over “Zoom” to prevent them from being sued. LOL

  9. To get technical, the dance is actually not called the ChaCha – it’s called the Cha Cha Cha with each ‘Cha’ separated or hyphenated. It is sometimes referred to as the Cha Cha, but still with the spacing or hyphenation. ChaCha is a search service, but their biggest claim to fame is in MOBILE phone search, in particular, a text message question/answer service. Yes, we’re talking about a product vs. a service, but both play in the same playground, and last I checked, ChaCha gets 4 million unique mobile text searchers a month which spells confusion IMO.

  10. i c problems with apples light peak implementation in its new mac book pro being called thunderbolt and the htc thunderbolt. looks like htc and apple will b up 4 copyright infringement next.

  11. Didnt google win the android lawsuit without giving a big pile of money? Then they just counter sued the guy for android

  12. If I were HTC or Motorola I wouldn’t budge. The Cha Cha was a dance forst. Doesn’t that mean that Spain has a valid lawsuit against the search company? Or at least the Latin dance community for a nice class action suit.

    Motorola’s XOOM and the XOOM companys’ logos don’t look alike at all and they don’t have competing products or services.

    This insanity has to stop.

  13. Android uses a different java vm (davalik I think) than oracle. This java vm was released under an opensource license before sun was bought out by oracle. oracle thinks they have the right to sue google over it, even though they don’t own any code, but because it’s “java” and they own “java”.

    More pointless waste of money and time.
    When will we just get rid of large corporations so we can move forward as a society?

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