Earlier this week, Android co-creator Andy Rubin took the wraps off his stealth hardware startup Essential and unveiled a cohort of hardware products namely Essential PH-1 smartphone, an intelligent smart home speaker, and a 360-degree camera accessory. But, the company is already finding itself caught in legal trouble with regards to its bold moniker — Essential Products.
First spotted by Android Police, U.S headquartered case and accessory maker Spigen has accused Andy Rubin’s ambitious hardware efforts of infringing on their ‘Essential’ trademark. It seems that Spigen already holds a trademark for the said term and was looking to introduce a broad range of products under the same — battery packs, chargers, and Bluetooth headphones among other products.
In a letter addressed to Rubin’s company, Spigen further adds that the consumer may get confused about who a said product belongs to, thus, hurting their position in the market. Also, the report mentions that Rubin may have already been aware of this incoming infringement lawsuit (or maybe not!?) because his hardware company wasn’t provided with a trademark for Essential Products.
Spigen is said to have registered a trademark for the Essential moniker way back in August of last year. It was granted the same as an International Class 9 mark, the category which relates to both computers and scientific devices, including smartphones and accessories. However, Rubin’s attempt to trademark the said term was refused multiple times, possibly because of the fears of it likely causing a confusion with Spigen’s product lineup.
But, the company still marketed its brand as well as products, which I must say look stunning, with the Essential moniker and is now staring at a ‘cease and desist letter’ sent by the case maker. With regards to the said letter, an Essential spokesperson has sent the following statement to Android Police:
Threat letters are commonplace in our sector. While it’s Spigen’s prerogative to make assertions, Essential believes they are without merit and will respond appropriately.
There is currently no additional info on the lawsuit except for the fact that Spigen is not going to easily let go of this case and will continue to drill Rubin’s new hardware setup. And it is not like he is planning to give up on the brand name he and his team have worked exceptionally hard to get out in this competitive market. Spigen already has some products with the Essential moniker in the market and now there’s no going back. They may have to settle or hash it out in court in the coming weeks.