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Google countersues in Android Specht-spat

Punitive damages and attorney's fees, please

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Google has come out fighting against Erich Specht who sued the search giant over the Android name, launching a countersuit demanding damages and "disgorgement of ill-gotten gains".

Google has filed suit against Specht asking the Illinois court to order a dismissal of the plaintiff's trademark registration of "Android", and award damages to the search giant for attorney's fees as well as punitive damages to discourage this kind of behaviour in future.

Specht, who claims he owns the name "Android", launched an action against just about every company involved in the Open Mobile Alliance (official owners of the Android platform) back in May. That action has now boiled down to the one suit against Google which is ongoing.

The case rests on whether Specht was still using the name "Android Data", a name he trademarked in 2002, by the time Google filed the term "Android" in 2007. Google's application was rejected by the US Patent & Trademark Office on the grounds that it was too similar to Specht's filing, prompting two unsuccessful appeals by Google who went ahead and used the name anyway.

Back in May we suggested that Specht was hoping for a quick settlement, perhaps following the 1998 case of Dhiren Rana; Rana's bankrupted company still got a $5m settlement out of Microsoft thanks to it having used the term "Internet Explorer".

But it seems Google isn't going to roll over so easily, with Forbes quoting from the filed documents that apparently claim the case is frivolous and a waste of time and money - money that Google intends to extract from Specht, or at least make anyone else think twice before seeing the chocolate factory in court. ®

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