Like most of you, I immediately thought of Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? when news broke (you know, when HTC filed the device with the FCC) that the Google Phone would be called Nexus One. There’s an obvious connection to Dick’s Replicants. That much is obvious.
When Lev and I were looking at alternative names for Nerd World (long live Nerd World!), you can be sure that we ripped apart Electric Sheep for plausible names. But we couldn’t afford Nerd World and there was no way in hell we could afford to license anything related to Dick’s work.
As it turns out, Google never once approached the family of one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time about using the name. Isa Dick Hackett, President of Electric Shepherd Productions, had this to say in an interview with the NYT, “We were never consulted, no requests were made, and we didn’t grant any sort of permissions.” Google declined to comment on the situation since they’ve made no public announcements about selling the device. Except Google filed an application to trademark the name for use with a mobile phone.
Dick went on to say this about the situation:
“My father was a big fan of technology,” she said. “It’s certainly something we would have been happy to discuss and interested in exploring. They only needed to reach out.”