It can't be long now before every word in the English language has been copyright protected, and we'll all have to start communicating in whistles and clicks.
The family of science fiction author Philip K Dick is the latest to join the rush to the courts, suing Google over its use of the words 'nexus' and 'android'.
Dick's most famous work - filmed under the title Blade Runner - was titled Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and features a range of 'replicants' called Nexus 6.
Dick's daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, has decribed the names as "a clear infringement of our intellectual property rights".
Google filed an application late last week to trademark the name Nexus One for use with a mobile phone. The company says it is simply using the word 'nexus' in its original context - as a place where several different elements converge.
Verizon Wireless recently played it safe by licensing the name 'Droid' from Star Wars creator George Lucas. However, 'droid' is an abbreviation associated very closely with the Star Wars films, rather than an ordinary English word.