For smartphone manufacturers, picking the right name for your new handset is a big deal. You want it to be unique, memorable, and ideally carry some sort of emotional weight; whether Bliss or Bionic, these names are the product of a lot of thought. Sometimes, though, the manufacturer settles on a name that another company’s already adopted as its own. We’ve seen this happen with the HTC ChaCha, and more recently with RIM’s BBX. When the two parties can’t reach an understanding, the lawyers come in. The latest smartphone to face such a challenge is the HTC Vivid, with Vivid Entertainment sending AT&T and HTC a cease-and-desist letter regarding the phone’s name.
Will this mean the Vivid has to change its name? That’s a very unlikely outcome, for a couple reasons. AT&T and HTC already have made an investment in the Vivid name, and won’t abandon it without a fight. Even if they’re ruled against, they may be able to license the name. More importantly, though, for the HTC Vivid to be violating Vivid Entertainment’s trademark, the company has to establish that there’s a reasonable chance that the similar names would confuse consumers. Seeing as one’s a smartphone, and the other is an adult entertainment company, their paths don’t really overlap; it’s a stretch to imagine Vivid Entertainment would ever think of putting its name on a phone.
HTC had no comment on the controversy, but we imagine it’s pretty confident about its prospects.