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Setbacks Continue For Google, HTC Smartphones

March 19, 2010

The Nexus One was dealt another blow on Thursday, as Google was denied a trademark application for the smartphone’s name, while manufacturer HTC promised to fight back against accusations that they had infringed upon patents held by iPhone manufacturer Apple.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected Google’s application for rights to the Nexus One name last week, due to the “likelihood of confusion” with a previously approved trademark for a related telecommunications device, the AFP reported on March 18, citing as a source an earlier Wall Street Journal report. The trademark in question is held by Oregon-based Integra Telecom, in reference to their Nexus fixed-bandwidth T1 service.

According to the Journal report, Google has stated that they plan to “continue to claim rights to the Nexus One trademark in the United States,” and planned to appeal the denial by submitting additional evidence to help support its trademark claim.

In related news, High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC), the Taiwanese company who produces the Nexus One, vowed to fight back against accusations by Apple that they had infringed upon 20 different patents related to the iPhone.

Apple had filed suit with the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court in Delaware on March 2, and is attempting to cease the sale and marketing of specific models of HTC products in America.

“We feel confident in our innovation and our ability to defend ourselves in this case,” Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC’s U.S. division, told Reuters earlier today, adding that a formal response to the accusations would be forthcoming in a few weeks. “HTC strongly disagrees with Apple’s actions. We plan to use all the legal tools we have at our disposal to both defend ourselves and set the record straight.”

Google, who released their Android-powered smartphone in January, was not named as a defendant in the Apple lawsuit. However, the Nexus One was listed as one of the devices believed to infringe upon iPhone patents, along with HTC’s Hero, Dream and myTouch models, all of which run on Android mobile operating software.

In a recent statement, which appeared in a March 18 AFP article, announced their support for HTC, stating that they while they were “not a party to this lawsuit,” that they “stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it.”

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