On launch day, Motorola gets sued for Xoom trademark infring

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Old 27-Feb-2011
On launch day, Motorola gets sued for Xoom trademark infring

Today is the launch date of the Motorola Xoom. It’s an important day for Motorola: they’re not only releasing the first Honeycomb tablet, they’re the only device maker who has managed to deliver a competitively featured 10-inch Android tablet before the debut of the iPad 2.
It’s also the day that Motorola gets sued for trademark infringement. Online payment company Xoom Corporation has just filed a trademark suit against Motorola in the Northern District of California, asking the court for a permanent injunction but also for a “temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction.”
They won’t get it — there’s just no way to stop the launch juggernaut of Xoom — but it’s an interesting suit because Xoom does not appear to be in the wrong, or trolling. They’ve owned the Xoom trademark since 2003. Moreover, Motorola had to have been aware of their trademark, since they also own and maintain Xoom.com.
Xoom is alleging that Motorola’s trademark infringement is “willful and intentional,” and it certainly seems hard to believe that it isn’t. Presumably, Motorola feels that the trademark is only protected in markets that have nothing to do with tablets… or otherwise felt that they could afford to fight this lawsuit when it came.
Either way, it’s a weird little case, since — at the very least — Motorola would have known about Xoom trying to buy the brand name. Will Motorola have to rebrand Xoom? That depends ultimately on two things: whether or not the courts rule in Xoom Corporation’s favor, and whether or not the Xoom is popular enough to be more than a flash-in-the-pan.

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