Friday, March 19, 2010

Google denied Nexus phone trademark: report

WASHINGTON — Google has been denied a trademark application for its Nexus One smartphone after the US Patent and Trademark Office said the name had been taken by a related product, a report said.

The ruling issued last week said Google's application was denied for the "likelihood of confusion" with a Nexus trademark held since 2008 by an Oregon-based telecommunications company called Integra Telecom, the Wall Street Journal said Wednesday.

Google can still submit further evidence to support its application, the Journal said.

Google said it "continue(s) to claim rights to the Nexus One trademark in the United States, and plan to respond" to the denial.

Google joined the smartphone market in January with its launch of Nexus One in a direct challenge to heavyweight Apple's iPhone handsets, billing it as a "superphone" and the next step in the evolution of its Android software.

Google worked with Taiwanese electronics titan HTC to make the handsets, sold exclusively from the Internet company's online shop at google.com/phone. There are no real-world stores or service centers for the devices.

In a separate suit, Google earlier this month threw its backing behind HTC after Apple accused it of infringing on patents for the iPhone's "user interface, underlying architecture and hardware."

Patent lawsuits are a fairly regular occurrence among technology giants; Apple is currently being sued by Nokia for patent infringement. Apple has fired back a countersuit against the Finnish mobile phone giant.

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