Carl Pei's Nothing now owns Andy Rubin's Essential

Essential phone on dark background with Essential text and logo

Back in 2017, a new brand called Essential was introduced, and while it was technically just another Android brand, the thing that made it different was that it was actually started by Android's co-founder, Andy Rubin. It didn't work out. The startup made one phone, the PH-1, and eventually folded a year ago.

However, it appears that the brand will live on. According to some documents at the UK Intellectual Property Office that were spotted by 9to5Google, the Essential brand has been transferred to Carl Pei's Nothing Technologies Ltd.

If you're unfamiliar with Nothing, it's the new venture from the OnePlus co-founder, and it's even managed to get some funding from Alphabet. Nothing is working on wireless earbuds at the moment, and it's also planning to make some devices for the smart home space using a new Ambient OS. It's unclear what it plans to do with a smartphone brand like Essential.

But now, Nothing owns all things Essential. That includes the name, the name of the device (PH-1), and all logos associated with the company. It's entirely possible that Nothing wants to get into the smartphone business, even though that's an industry that Carl Pei has already tackled with OnePlus and succeeded, but Essential doesn't really carry the brand recognition that would put Nothing over the top.

The application was filed on November 11, and it was finalized on January 6.

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