Google may get sued over "Nexus" name

The New York Times website featured an interesting piece yesterday about the origin of the Nexus One name. It's no secret that Motorola licensed the name "Droid" from Star Wars' creator George Lucas, but now, claims that Google is using the "Nexus" name without prior authorization have surfaced. Isa Dick Hackett, whose father wrote "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" claims that Google stole the "Nexus" name from her father's novel.

The connections between the phone and the book are impossible to ignore, and many bloggers have picked up on it. The story is about Androids, and includes a bounty hunter who's tasked with tracking down Nexus-6 cyborgs, who are the sixth generation of Nexus robots. The similarities seem to imply that the Nexus One name was more than a coincidence. It seems like a near certainty that the name Google chose was inspired by Mr. Dick's story, though permission to use the name was never granted.

Hackett, it seems, would have been open to the idea of granting permission to Google. "My father was a big fan of technology. It's certainly something we would have been happy to discuss and interested in exploring. They only needed to reach out." However, now that the deed is done and Google has filed for a patent on the name, a lawsuit seems much more likely. Hackett is currently exploring her options with her legal team.

You can check out the book on, none other than, Google Books.

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40 Comments

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To add to the big list of things with nexus as its name, Sony Ericsson new UI (for the xperia x10 etc) also has the name nexus o.o

There going to be suing a lot of people it seems

She's just some stupid woman with way too much time in one hand and a book which never sold a copy in the other. You can't trademark a combination of words. I think google should go to court with it and drown her in legal fees. That'll teach her a lesson.

Maybe I could dredge up the tiniest amount of symapthy if the author published this recently, or was at least still alive. As it is, I feel nothing but contempt for Isa Dick Hackett's get-rich-quick plan of litigation in the name of her deceased father.

We already have patent trolls. We don't need trademark trolls.

Frankly™ I™ am™ suprised™. I™ am™ sure™ she™ has™ been™ living™ off™ the™ royalties™ for™ years™ and™ years™. Especially™ with™ the™ re-release™ of™ Blade Runner™ on™ DVD™ and™ Blu-Ray™. I™ am™ sure™ she™ gets™ some™ of™ that™. Google™ is™ just™ another™ paycheck™ it™ appears™.

Change™ the™ name™ to™ gPhone™ and™ see™ if™ apple™ sues™!

CyberWolf said,
Frankly? I? am? suprised?. I? am? sure? she? has? been? living? off? the? royalties? for? years? and? years?. Especially? with? the? re-release? of? Blade Runner? on? DVD? and? Blu-Ray?. I? am? sure? she? gets? some? of? that?. Google? is? just? another? paycheck? it? appears?.

Change? the? name? to? gPhone? and? see? if? apple? sues?!



Dude.. you didnt trademark the period...well, you're screwed now.

It seems you can sue anyone these says over anything.. Nexus is also the name for the US-Canada fast pass border security. Is she going to sue them too? Please.. wtf

next at&t will sue anyone who uses at, a, t, or & in a product name......... its not like nexus is not a common word... We might all get sued for using it in our comments omg lol

"My father was a big fan of technology. It's certainly something we would have been happy to discuss and interested in exploring. They only needed to reach out."

What arrogance they must have thinking the name could've only derived from that book.

As for the term Nexus, well... anyone wanna run it on heroic? :P

Halfalive said,
The word nexus, is a word for a series of connects between things or the link between different things. Like you could have a nexus of routers, or a nexus for stars. Using the word "nexus" for a phone would make sense. I don't think it has anything to do with that book.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nexus


Exactly.
nexâ‹...us
  /ˈnɛksəs/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [nek-suhs] Show IPA
Use nexus in a Sentence
See web results for nexus
See images of nexus
–noun, plural nexâ‹...usâ‹...es, nexâ‹...us.
1. a means of connection; tie; link.
2. a connected series or group.
3. the core or center, as of a matter or situation.
4. Cell Biology. a specialized area of the cell membrane involved in intercellular communication and adhesion.
Origin:
1655–65; < L nexus a binding, joining, fastening, equiv. to nect(ere) to bind, fasten, tie + -tus suffix of v. action, with tt > s

Blasius said,
Maybe Star Trek can get in on a lawsuit too, since they also used a nexus in one of their movies. :rolleyes:

Well, at least Google didn't name the phone Seti Alpha Five.

Or the Communicator. But it seems there's already an app for that:

The "Droid" royalties to Lucas is news to me. I mean "Droid" is clearly an abbreviation of "Android" which is a common word these days.

The word Nexus is used in a few different contexts as well. Embarrassingly, the first thing that came to my mind was the Nexus instance and zone in WoW.

Sure, Google may have been inspired by the book and thought it was clever. And if they had actually made a robot and called it Nexus One then I can see there being a problem.

Interesting read, none-the-less.

I can think of a dozen different things that use the name Nexus. Is simply adding a number at the end and throwing in coincidence grounds for a lawsuit?

Practically anything is grounds for a potential lawsuit these days. Not all lawsuits will make it to court though, and even those that do could be dismissed easily if the Judge feels its a frivolous lawsuit.

Brandon said,
I don't get it. If you make up a word in a book or movie and don't copyright it, why cant someone else use it?

Hackett did not invent the word nexus... but Google is the best target of any lawyer wannabe.

Brandon said,
I don't get it. If you make up a word in a book or movie and don't copyright it, why cant someone else use it?

I don't understand either.

Even if it was trademarked (is it!?), it's not in the same market as the telephony/electronics business, so it should be OK even despite trademarks. You can't trademark a name cross-markets, thank god.

I think the issue is not "Nexus" on its own, but "Nexus" used with "Android." It would be like if someone used the names "Harry" "Ron" and "Hermione" together for some product.

Stetson said,
I think the issue is not "Nexus" on its own, but "Nexus" used with "Android." It would be like if someone used the names "Harry" "Ron" and "Hermione" together for some product.

Exactly.

TechGuyPA said,
Because we can and if you dont like it ill sue you.

Because those that don't have jobs or can't bare working as normal people need to find a source of income or something to do with their boring lives. Therefore, suing was invented.