TORONTO, Dec 7 (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
After a humililating, 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.
A U.S. federal court in Albuquerque on Tuesday disagreed,
granting Basis a temporary injunction barring RIM from using the
BBX name at a developer conference in Singapore that started on
"The alleged infringement is likely to cause customers and
prospective customers to wrongly believe that the software
applications created using Basis's development tools are only
compatible with RIMs BBX operating system," the ruling said.
Late on Tuesday, RIM backed down.
"RIM doesn't typically comment on pending litigation,
however RIM has already unveiled a new brand name for its next
generation mobile platform," the company said in a statement.
"The BlackBerry 10 name reflects the significance of the new
platform and will leverage the global strength of the BlackBerry
brand while also aligning perfectly with RIM's device
The company last week warned it would write down the value
of unsold PlayBooks and take a charge relating to the October
outage. It said it expects to ship less smartphones in the
current quarter than in the one that just ended.
For Basis International: Robert Muehlenweg of Rammelkamp
Muehlenweg & Cordova and Jeffrey Harty of mcKee, Voorhees &
For RIM: John Pound of Long, Pound & Komer and Douglas
Rettew of Dinnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Sakthi Prasad)
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