RIM walks away from BBX name after trademark fight

Wed Dec 7, 2011 12:17pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion has unceremoniously dumped the "BBX" brand name it had chosen two months ago for its new BlackBerry operating system after a U.S. court embarrassed the beleaguered smartphone maker by slapping a temporary ban on its use.

In yet another public relations debacle for a company that has suffered through a series of them recently, the court said RIM could not use the BBX name until it could sort out copyright infringement allegations.

After a humiliating, four-day BlackBerry service outage two months ago, RIM was apparently in no mood for a drawn-out legal battle over the moniker.

Instead it will call the new operating system "BlackBerry 10," skipping from the latest BlackBerry 7 to illustrate the significance of the upgrade. The new system, once completed, will combine features of the legacy BlackBerry software with the QNX software that now powers RIM's PlayBook tablet computers.

RIM is hoping the transition to a fresh system will make its devices more competitive against software from Apple and Google as well as a resurgent Microsoft.

The BlackBerry maker announced the BBX name at a San Francisco developer conference in October.

Days later, New Mexico-based Basis International said it held a trademark on the "BBx" name and would go to court to protect its property.

Basis, founded in 1985, develops its own software language, databases and toolsets for applications to run on Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems, among others.

At the time, RIM brushed off the threat, saying it did not believe the marks were confusing and that the companies were in different lines of business.   Continued...