BlackBerry maker accused of infringing BBX trademark

Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:35pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - BBX, the operating system that Research In Motion is counting on to revive its floundering BlackBerry franchise, has run into trouble even before the company could install the system in its smartphone line.

A New Mexico firm claims the "BBX" name is protected by trademarks it holds and is threatening to take legal action against RIM unless it stops using the moniker.

The firm, Abuquerque-based Basis International, said it had already trademarked the "BBx" name for its own software language, database and toolset.

"Our patent attorney has sent them a cease and desist letter, invoking the U.S. trademark act ... requesting a response by October 31," Basis Chief Executive Nico Spence told Reuters on Thursday. "Failing that, we'll take the next logical legal step."

While legal action may never materialize, the threat may prove yet another embarrassment for a company that has suffered its fair share of them recently. The latest was a three-day global outage of BlackBerry service, which followed a series of profit warnings and botched product rollouts.

On top of that, its management has been scolded for what its critics say is an arrogant and insular style.

Earlier this week, RIM announced the new BBX platform for its next-generation devices at a developers conference in San Francisco. It provided no timetable for the rollout, however.


"RIM has not yet received a copy of the legal complaint described in Basis International's press release, but we do not believe the marks are confusing, particularly since our respective companies are in different lines of business," the Waterloo, Ontario-based company told Reuters by email.   Continued...

<p>A Blackberry smartphone is displayed in this August 12, 2010 illustrative photo taken in Hong Kong. REUTERS/Bobby Yip</p>