Essential Products Accused of Copyright Infringement by Spigen

Essential Products Accused of Copyright Infringement by Spigen
Highlights
  • Essential Phone was launched last week
  • Andy Rubin’s company now faces copyright infringement charges
  • Essential says allegations are ‘without merit’

Last week, 'Father of Android ' Andy Rubin officially launched his company Essential Products, with two offerings - the Essential Phone and Essential Home. The phone is up for pre-orders and shipping hasn’t even begun yet, but the brand has already come into a bit of a copyright trouble. Apparently, case and accessory maker Spigen has sent a cease and desist letter to the company asking them to stop using the ‘Essential’ mark on its products.

Spigen has successfully copyrighted the term ‘Essential’ last year in August, and while it just uses it for a range of battery packs, chargers, and Bluetooth headphones, the company’s copyright expands to categories like computers, accessories, and even smartphones. Because of this, Essential’s own attempt to copyright the word has been rejected twice as well, to avoid confusion with Spigen’s trademark.

This rejection and the reason behind it, indicates that Rubin and company already were aware about Essential being a ‘trademarked’ term, but they went ahead with it anyway. Spigen has given the company until June 15 to respond, after which it will take necessary legal action. When Android Police contacted Essential’s spokesperson, it received the following neutral response, “Threat letters are commonplace in our sector. While its Spigen’s prerogative to make assertions, Essential believes they are without merit and will respond appropriately.”

How Essential plans to deal with this legal matter remains to be seen. As mentioned, the Essential Phone is already up for pre-order, and changing company name now seems the less than ideal approach. Maybe a fat settlement number on a cheque is on the cards?

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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