RIM drops BBX OS moniker in favor of BlackBerry 10 after court loss

RIM logoBlackBerry maker Research In Motion has changed the official name of its next-generation mobile operating system after a judge blocked it from using its original name, "BBX." A US Federal Court in Albuquerque, New Mexico issued an order on Tuesday barring RIM from using "BBX" during its DevCon Asia developer conference in Singapore on December 7 and 8. At the conference keynote on Wednesday, RIM announced that its new name will be "BlackBerry 10."

Basis International, a mobile software company that markets tools for building cross-platform mobile apps under the name "BBX," filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against RIM in October. The company holds two registered trademarks for the BBX name, and naturally became perturbed when RIM announced that its next-generation OS would be called "BBX"—an amalgam of BlackBerry and QNX, the real-time OS it acquired last year to power its PlayBook tablet.

The temporary restraining order issued Tuesday only covered DevCon Asia, and was requested after RIM refused to stop using the name while the case is working its way through the courts. Basis had not yet motioned for an outright preliminary injunction—which would effectively bar RIM from using the BBX name until the final verdict is reached—but the court's decision on the temporary restraining order suggests Basis might have been able to obtain one.

"The BBX product RIM has launched possesses exactly the same name as Plaintiff’s BBX mark, and is being marketed to the same class of consumers, within the same channel of trade," wrote District Judge William Johnson in his decision. "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 RIM's BBX operating system."

The QNX-based BlackBerry 10 is considered integral to RIM's future viability as a smartphone vendor. Considering RIM has ceded its smartphone market leadership to Apple and Android, it was wise to consider an alternative name and simply drop the matter.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: BlackBerry, legal action, RIM

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