Star Wars business savant George Lucas owns the word "Droid" and Motorola pays Lucasfilm LTD for the rights to use it. Which brings to mind two questions--one, is trademark law out of control? And, two, couldn't Motorola come up with a better name that it didn't have to rent? The word "android," from which droid is not so brilliantly derived, appears in US patents beginning in 1863 and in fiction beginning in 1886. Droid is nothing more than slang for android, right? Lucas's ownership then is a little like you trying to trademark sug as a new version of sugar. (Spielberg may own sug already, we're not sure.)
Disney owns LucasFilm now, so Disney gets to collect Motorola's rent. It says clearly at Verizon's Droid page: "DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm, Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license."
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