“We decided it would be a collaborative logo that everybody in the world could customize,” she says. “That was pretty daring.” Most companies, of course, would defend their trademark from copycats, and million-dollar lawsuits have been filed over the rights to corporate insignia. This one would remain free.
In the years since, the Android logo has been dressed up as a ninja, given skis and skateboards and even transformed into a limited edition Kit-Kat bar.
|This Kat's favorite iteration of|
the Android robot
A search of the USPTO records reveals that Android is quite a popular word in connection with technology-related goods and services. In fact, Google’s USPTO word mark application for Android is currently stalled due to a conflict with a prior registered mark in Class 9. [Are there similar trade mark conflicts surrounding the word mark "Android" in jurisdictions other than the US?] But even if Google cannot register the word mark Android, it could likely, nonetheless, trade mark the Android logo due to the logo’s high degree of consumer recognition as an identifier of the Android operating system.mobile phones; operating system software; software for use in developing, executing, and running other software on mobile devices, computers, computer networks, and global communication networks; computer software development tools; computer software for use in transmitting and receiving data over computer networks and global communication networks; computer software for managing communications and data exchange among and between mobile devices and desktop computers; computer middleware, namely, software that mediates between the operating system of a mobile device and the application software of a mobile device; computer application software for mobile phones.
This Kat wonders if, perhaps, the decision to make the logo open-source is not so much a daring act of public engagement, but an ingenious way to build equity in a brand that might otherwise fail to attain trade mark protection. Google benefits from valuable free marketing by allowing developers, partners and consumers to use the Android logo as a character, dressed in fanciful costumes ["fancy dress," for the British readers] or inserted into clever environments. Treating the logo as open-source also supports the attributes that Google wants consumers to recognize in the Android brand: innovative, creative, user-friendly.
The IPKat wonders, what do readers think?
Cat v Robot here
Kit-Cat Clocks here
Kit Kat and Domino here