By Evan Blass | February 24, 2011 12:17 PM
HTC is being sued in Indiana Southern District Court by ChaCha Search over the name of its new QWERTY-equipped Android handset, known as a Facebook phone because it sports a button with the social network’s logo. ChaCha is one of the early human-powered, “quesion-and-answer” search engines which have since grown in popularity.
Interestingly, HTC doesn’t seem to make any claim to the word ChaCha here in North America: it has only applied for trademark protection in Europe (on “HTC ChaCha”), and the phone was introduced in Spain, not the US; thus far, HTC has not advertised it as going by that name domestically. Furthermore, ChaCha the company only holds trademarks on its name in class 42 of the Nice system — a services category — while HTC is applying for protection (in Europe, at least) in Nice class 9, which is a goods category.
In other words, it sounds like ChaCha Search may be jumping the gun a bit with this suit (AT&T could brand these phones completely differently, after all), but that could be a moot point, as there might not be much of a case here in the first place.