RIM is sued over use of BBX, new BlackBerry OS name


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Just one week after Research In Motion announced its BBX operating system for BlackBerry phones and tablets, the company is facing a lawsuit over the name of the new software.

Basis International has sued RIM, alleging trademark infringement. The Albuquerque-based software company says that since 1985 it has used BBx — note the difference in capitalization — as shorthand for its Business Basic eXtended line of software developer tools.


The BBx tools are used to build applications that can run on multiple platforms that use the Java programming language, including Linux, Microsoft Windows, Apple’s iOS and Mac OS X, and Google’s Android, according to Basis, which says it trademarked the name in 1995.

After RIM announced its BBX software, Basis said some customers became confused as to what, if any, relationship there was between the companies.

‘In addition to the inevitable confusion created by RIM’s use of the mark BBX for related goods, customers and prospective customers are also 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 company said in its suit.

The suit seeks an order barring RIM from using the BBX name, plus unspecified damages.

Basis brought the suit before RIM even said when its new software would launch or which device models it would run on.

The suit is just the latest bit of trouble for RIM, whose stock price has tumbled this year as the company has lost market share to Apple’s iPhone and devices running Android.

RIM officials were unavailable for comment on the suit Tuesday.



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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles