RIM hit with trademark lawsuit over BBX, name of next BlackBerry OS

RIM logoA software company that owns a trademark on the name BBX filed suit yesterday against Research In Motion, which is using the same name for its next-generation operating system for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets. The suit was filed by Basis International in the US District Court of New Mexico.

GigaOm reports that “Basis’ BBX is a set of tools and languages that help developers write programs for multiple operating systems. Basis has been using the BBX name since as early as 1985 and got a trademark in 1995.” While Basis spells the trademark as "BBX" in its lawsuit, the company uses a lower-case "x" on its website, which says BBx refers to Business BASIC eXtended.

In the lawsuit, Basis argues that “The parties’ respective BBX products are clearly related. By way of example only, a software application created with BASIS' BBX to run on the Android or iOS mobile devices will also run on RIM’s BBX for BlackBerry products.” Moreover, Basis says it received “inquiries from confused customers” after RIM announced its own BBX product last week. Customers and prospective customers are “likely to wrongly believe that software applications created using BASIS’ development tools are only compatible with RIM’s BBX operating system, thus impairing and destroying BASIS’ reputation for providing software development tools for cross-platform development,” the lawsuit argues.

The Basis suit demands that RIM be prevented from using the name BBX in any capacity, and compensate Basis for legal costs and damages. Basis first threatened to sue last week, at which time RIM told Reuters “we do not believe the marks are confusing, particularly since our respective companies are in different lines of business.” RIM chose the name BBX because the forthcoming OS will combine features of the traditional BlackBerry smartphone operating system with QNX tablet software.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: BlackBerry, mobile phones, RIM

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