Philip K Dick's daughter to sue Google?

Google in spot of bother over use of 'Nexus One' name for smartphone
Google in spot of bother over use of 'Nexus One' name for smartphone

Is the Google Phone, currently known as 'Nexus One' an unauthorised replicant?

Philip K. Dick's daughter certainly thinks so, with the Blade Runner author's estate having not been contacted or consulted over the use of the name 'Nexus One' – which Google seems to have lifted directly from Dick's sci-fi masterpiece Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Google's new smartphone device is called Nexus One in at least two government filings, although the name is far from set in stone and the company is likely to change it before the phone gets a commercial release later in 2010.

Dick's book features a bounty hunter asked to track down a number of rogue Nexus-6 cyborgs.

Out of basic courtesy, if nothing else, one would have expected Google to have discussed the use of the 'Nexus One' name with the author's estate.

Shock and dismay

The author's daughter Isa Dick Hackett, said she was "shocked and dismayed" and that the estate "were never consulted, no requests were made, and we didn't grant any sort of permissions.

"In my mind, there is a very obvious connection to my father's novel…My father was a big fan of technology," she added. "It's certainly something we would have been happy to discuss and interested in exploring. They only needed to reach out."

Google filed this application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the name "Nexus One" for use with a phone.


Adam Hartley