'Android' watchmaker Oko sues Google for trademark infringement

The lawsuit comes as rumors surface that Google is making its own smartwatch

Just as rumors begin to surface that Google is getting into the smartwatch game, Oko International, the maker of a wide range of watches and timepieces sold under the brand name 'Android,' is suing the company for trademark infringement.

Oko, established in 1991, sells more than 400 watches and clocks that have been trademarked as "Android" products since 1994. Its pieces, which are marketed across North America, Japan and Western Europe, generate between US$1 million and $5 million in annual sales.

The company, however, does not seem intimidated by Google. "It does not matter how big the company is. We did not give Google the right to use that name," said Oko chief designer and CEO Wing Liang.

The timing of the suit, which was filed Wednesday in the California Central District Court, is noteworthy. It was filed the same week Google's Android unit was reported by the Financial Times to be in the midst of developing its own smartwatch.

But the lawsuit is actually directed at the way Google's online store sells other watches made by the company Modify Industries. Modify does not make smartwatches, but Google had been branding and selling them as Android watches at GoogleStore.com.

Oko is seeking both monetary damages and an injunction against Google to stop prominently using the Android name in how it promotes those products, said Howard Kroll, an attorney with Christie Parker & Hale, who is handling the case.

The amount of damages that Oko is seeking is not immediately clear. It would all depend on exactly how many of the Modify watches were sold online through Google as well as the advertising around them, Kroll said.

"This [suit] has nothing to do with the Android OS," Oko's Liang said. "I am simply protecting my trademark."

The Oko suit does not appear to be influenced by the Google smartwatch rumors either. "I am aware of the iWatch, but not a Google smartwatch," the CEO said.

Wearable technology in the form of "smartwatches" is gaining considerable buzz as other big-name players, such as Apple with its iWatch, are also reported to be developing their own units.

Google declined to comment on the smartwatch rumors, nor would it comment on Oko's lawsuit.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesModify IndustriesGoogleMobile OSesOko Internationalmobileinternetsearch enginesAppleAndroid OS

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?