Philip K. Dick estate up in arms over Nexus One

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The Independent Culture

Google's new mobile phone, the Nexus One, is under scrutiny from the estate of the late science-fiction author Philip D. Dick. The author's family sent a letter to the internet giant on Wednesday asking the company to cease using the name, which it says is lifted from Dick's 1968 novel Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep?.

In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a bounty hunter chases androids called Nexus-6 models. One of Dick's best-known works, the novel inspired the 1982 cult film Blade Runner.

The Nexus One phone is based on Google's Android software, which the company first launched two years ago. Isa Dick Hackett, the author's daughter, says the fact that the Nexus One runs the Android software makes the connection all the more obvious.

"It's not lost on the people who are somewhat familiar with this novel," Isa Dick Hackett, daughter of the author, was quoted as saying in the Wall Street Journal. "We feel this is a clear infringement of our intellectual-property rights."

When the device was introduced on Tuesday, Google said it intended the word simply to describe "a place where things converge." Neither Google or estate lawyers have so far commented on the infringement accusations.