HTC targeted by pornographer over Vivid handset

Smartphone maker HTC has found itself on the receiving end of legal threats, but they're not from the usual suspects: it's being told to cease and desist by an adult entertainment giant.

The cause of the pornographer's pique is the HTC Vivid, a new 4.5-inch Android smartphone featuring a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.

While most smartphone legal tussling comes courtesy of patent disputes - with software giant Microsoft claiming to receive royalties on over half of all Android devices sold, despite having had no input whatsoever into the creation of Google's flagship mobile platform - it's the naming convention that's the cause of the company's troubles this time around.

Vivid, it seems - and, if pushed, we deny all prior knowledge of this fact - is also the name of a company which produces a surprisingly large quantity of adult entertainment.

Despite little in Vivid Entertainment's output being 4.5 inches in size, the company is arguing that the use of the word 'vivid' by HTC in the naming of its device represents a potential cause for confusion, leading the company to send a cease and desist letter to HTC demanding that it stops all sales and marketing activity surrounding the device until the name is changed.

This isn't the first time that HTC has found itself in hot water over a name: having failed to search for clashes in all its international markets, it was forced to rename the HTC ChaCha in Spain to the HTC ChaChaCha.

It's hard to see Vivid Entertainment succeeding with this claim, however: while it can certainly prove prior use of the name, and it holds a trademark therein, the two companies are in vastly different businesses. Unless and until Vivid launches a porn-themed smartphone of its own - or until HTC bundles a few grumble flicks on its handsets - it's almost impossible that anyone would confuse the two.

Responding to a request for comment from The Verge, a spokesperson from HTC's US arm confirmed receipt of the cease and desist letter. "We are reviewing the complaint," the spokesperson added, "and don't expect to have any further comment until it is resolved."