Retrobrands USA makes a business from “disused” trademarks and licensing them to those who hope to find new audiences for their products from the brand’s afterglow. USPTO trademark filings were brought and a lawsuit over use of the NEXTEL name. The product brochures shows the NEXTEL logo “photoshopped” onto 3G radios. As the lawsuit notes, the “Direct Connect” and “Group Connect” of this product are in effect an app using data to relay voice, with what is claimed to be considerably more latency than the lower layer iDEN dispatch protocol.
Although I long to see a service of the quality of Nextel iDEN dispatch return, this creative use of a trademark that saw $750 million spent on NASCAR sponsorship alone is quite something to ride the laurels of. iDEN still exists overseas and Motorola Harmony in limited regions. Zello uses the Nextel chirp sound without public complaint so far.