(Wired.com) -- Google's new Nexus One mobile phone may be the New Cool Thing, but the family of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick is alleging that the search giant lifted the device's name straight from an iconic Dick novel without even bothering to pick up one of their fancy new smartphones to ask permission.
"Google takes first and then deals with the fallout later," Isa Dick Hackett, Dick's daughter, told Wired.com.
Google officially announced the new Android OS-based phone -- the Nexus One -- on Tuesday. But the estate of the paranoid sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick says the name originates from the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep that later became the sci-fi classic Blade Runner. In that story, a private detective is tracking down a rogue android, a Nexus 6 model.
Reports of the estate's objection have led to accusations that the estate is just grubbing for money, though few seemed to think the same of George Lucas when Motorola paid him to use the name Droid for their Android OS-powered smartphone.
"People don't get it," Hackett said. "It's the principle of it."
The family says the use is a trademark violation, and sent Google a letter Wednesday demanding the company cease using the Nexus name and requesting the company turn over relevant documents within 10 days.
But when the device was introduced Tuesday, Google explained the name had nothing to do with Dick's work, and was simply using the word in its original sense -- as a place where things converge. Additionally, the Nexus One character isn't trademarked by the family like Lucas did with Droid, nor are any robots or replicants used in its branding.
This is not the first time the Dick estate has complained that Google takes without asking.
The estate, joined by the Steinbeck family and musician Arlo Guthrie, came out early and vocally against the Google Book Search deal last spring, arguing that it was overly complicated and that copyright holders were being asked to make binding decisions. That motion won a four-month stay from the federal judge overseeing the case.
That provided time for a substantial opposition movement to grow, eventually forcing Google to substantially modify the settlement -- which is still in legal limbo.
You might think that would have made Google lawyers think twice about using the name without contacting the family first.
"It would be nice to have a dialogue. We are open to it," Hackett said. "That's a way to start."
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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