Just as Google's Nexus One phone may be about to gain momentum, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denied the search giant's application for the Nexus One trademark.

The denial is not final and Google now has the opportunity to submit evidence and arguments in support of approval.

"Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the mark in US Registration No. 3554195," according to the filing that was made last week.

That number refers to a trademark for the word Nexus that is registered to Integra Telecom, a wireline telecommunications service provider that covers 11 Western states.

Similarity of the words, goods and/or services and trade channels were the most relevant factors the USPTO used in issuing the denial, it said.

In a statement, Integra said it appreciates that the USPTO is protecting its trademark rights. It also said it hopes to work the matter out with Google. "Google hasn't contacted us since the PTO issued its objection but we hope we can work together to achieve our respective business goals," John Nee, Integra's vice president of corporate communications, said in the statement.

Google did not reply to a request for comment.

The Nexus One runs Android, and Google sells it exclusively from its website. The phone was initially designed for T-Mobile's network. But on Tuesday, Google started selling a version of the phone for AT&T's network, and on Wednesday Sprint said a version for its network would come out as well. When Google launched the phone, it said it was also planning to make it available for Verizon.