RIM sued over use of BBM name by BBM Canada

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Research In Motion is facing a new lawsuit for its use of BBM as a name for its BlackBerry Messenger service by a Canadian radio and TV industry group known as BBM Canada.

Based in Toronto since 1944, BBM Canada filed its suit against Research In Motion this month ‘after attempts to negotiate failed,’ according to the Globe and Mail newspaper which first reported on the complaint.


Jim MacLeod, BBM Canada’s chief executive, told the Globe and Mail that RIM also turned down an offer from BBM Canada in which the group would rename itself if RIM would pay for the costs of the rebranding, but the smartphone maker wasn’t interested.

Officials at RIM were unavailable to comment Friday, but the company told the Globe and Mail that it doesn’t comment on ongoing legal matters.

MacLeod said BBM Canada doesn’t want to pick on RIM, which has had a tough year with declining market share, sliding profit and another trademark lawsuit loss over the use of the BBX name.

‘We want our name back,’ he said in the report. ‘I find it kind of amazing that this wouldn’t have been thought about before they decided to use the name. The same thing goes for BBX.’

RIM announced in October that its next smartphone and tablet operating system would be called BBX, a name owned by the New Mexican software firm Basis International, which quickly sued RIM for trademark infringement. Earlier this month, RIM was denied use of the BBX name and announced that its next operating system would instead be known as BlackBerry 10.

BlackBerry 10 has been under development for months and was slated to launch early in 2012 before being delayed into late 2012. When it arrives, RIM says, it will be the first OS from the company to run on both smartphones and tablets -- an approach taken by Apple’s iOS and Google’s new Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

The delay is the latest of multiple product delays to hit RIM this year, including the delay of an update to the software running on its PlayBook tablet, which recently racked up a $485-million loss for RIM in unsold inventory. So far, no mobile carriers have offered up a 3G or 4G version of the PlayBook, and RIM has also dealt with layoffs, service outages and takeover rumors.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+