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Google refused Nexus One trademark: Not because it's a replicant

Google has been refused its trademark application for Nexus One, meaning the company's first entry in the mobile phone market might need a new name

Nexus One was the moniker Google chose to grace its first own-brand phone, but a refused trademark application in the US might force the company to look a little further down its list of names.

Google filed the Nexus One trademark on 10 December last year for use in connection to mobile phones, and despite there not being another Nexus phone on the market, the US Trademark Office has this month issued a notice of refusal.

Our soft spot for the Android 2.1-powered Nexus One is a mile wide -- we've even called it the iPhone killer you've been waiting for.

Google's application for the Nexus One trademark has been refused due to the name conflicting with another Nexus mark (US registration no. 3554195) granted to Integra Telecom in December 2008, which pertains to "the provision of telecommunication services and the transmission of voice and data".

The Trademark Office believes the conflicting trademarks would confuse a potential consumer, since the marks exist in a similar trade channel. Although Google has trademarked the only Nexus phone, the ruling is that "the goods and/or services of the parties need not be identical or directly competitive to find a likelihood of confusion".

This isn't the first time Google has had some trouble with the Nexus name. It was originally presumed to be a reference to Philip K Dick's Nexus-6 replicants in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, later filmed as Blade Runner. The Dick family was none too pleased, and has since taken action to sue Google for stealing the name. The case has nothing to do with this decision, however.

Google has six months to respond to the refusal with evidence that will support the trademark's registration -- most likely arguing that Integra Telecom's mark does not reference a phone. Google can keep using the name until Integra sues it for infringement, at which point they may come to an agreement. Or Google can change the name -- we've always thought its phone should be called the Oogle. The comments box is open for your enlightened and amusing suggestions below.