The family of the late Science Fiction writer Philip K. Dick, say they are to sue Google for infringement of intellectual property rights.
Isa Dick Hackett, his daughter, claims that the internet giant’s new Android phone is clearly named after the ‘Nexus-6’ androids from Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electic Sheep who’s plot served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner.
‘Google takes first and then deals with the fallout later’, she told Wired.
Dick’s estate are claiming that the name of the Nexus One, launched by Google on Tuesday, is a trademark violation, and have sent the company a letter demanding they stop using the name, and turn over relevant documents to the Dicks’ legal team.
Google, however, have denied that there is any connection between the Nexus-6 replicants in Dick’s novel and the name of their smartphone – insisting they are using the word ‘nexus’ in its original sense, namely a place that links other things together.
The term ‘Nexus 1’ is not actually used in Dick’s novel – it refers only to the Nexus-6 line of bio-engineered androids – and the family do not have a trademark over the name. However, Dick Hackett told the New York Times she was certain that Google was aware of the link with Dick’s work: ‘In my mind, there is a very obvious connection to my father’s novel.’
Last year, Motorola paid George Lucas for the rights to use the term ‘Droid’ for the name of their own Android-powered phone – although in that case, Lucas did have a trademark on the term ‘droid’.