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Fans in high places

The family of the late Philip K. Dick plan to sue Google over its new phone

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Dick was the author of Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep?, the book on which the Blade Runner film was based, which featured androids known as Nexus 6; Google’s challenge to the iPhone is called Nexus and its operating system Android. Isa Dick Hackett, the author’s daughter, claims the names are lifted straight from her father’s science fiction novel and plans to sue for infringement of intellectual property rights. “Google takes first and then deals with the fallout later,” she said. “In my mind, there is a very obvious connection to my father’s novel. People don’t get it. It’s the principle of it. It would be nice to have a dialogue. We are open to it. That’s a way to start.” The family says the use of the name Nexus One is a trademark violation, and sent Google a letter on Wednesday demanding the company cease using the name. But when the device was introduced this week, Google claimed the name had nothing to do with Dick’s work, and that it was simply using the word in its original sense— as a place where things converge.

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