The new HTC ChaCha is pictured at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
ChaCha is suing HTC over the ChaCha phone, pictured here. Reuters

ChaCha, a company which allows people to text a question to a toll free number and get an automatic response, is suing HTC over the ChaCha phone.

HTC unveiled the ChaCha smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it didn't take long for ChaCha to respond with a lawsuit. Indianapolis-based ChaCha was founded by Scott A. Jones in 2006 as a search engine that uses human guides to derive relevant search terms. In 2008, it debuted the texting for answers service. To date, ChaCha has had over a billion questions answered, it says.

In 2007, ChaCha said it was issued a patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the trademark ChaCha. Around that time, it was issued several other trademarks regarding ChaCha logos. The company also says it has spent considerable time, effort and expertise building brand recognition for the ChaCha name.

Naturally, the company was not happy when HTC showed off the ChaCha phone a few weeks ago. The phone is set to debut in European and Asian markets in quarter two of this year and in the U.S. later in 2011. The lawsuit says HTC, despite knowing about ChaCha the company and its rights to the name, it's has marketed and announced plans to distribute it.

ChaCha sent two letters immediately after HTC announced the phone and said in their complaint that they have not received a response. The lawsuit states ChaCha would like HTC to permanently stop using the logo, trademark and name. It also is seeking damages as a result of the infringement for an undisclosed amount.

Neither HTC nor ChaCha's attorneys responded to a call for comment.

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