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RIM threatened with legal action as US firm claims BlackBerry platform BBX infringes trademark

RIM threatened with legal action as US firm claims BlackBerry platform BBX infringes trademark
Claims and counter claims over name rights are nothing new in the mobile industry – Apple had to purchase the iPad name from Fujitsu after the latter kicked up a stink in the press – but a pending battle over the name of RIM's new platform BBX couldn't come at a worse time for the firm.

Reuters reports New Mexico-based Basis International has reacted angrily to the unveiling of the OS – said to combine BlackBerry 7 OS with PlayBook's QNX-based platform – claiming it owns the BBX name and threatening legal action.

BBX marks the spot

"We are fielding numerous customer inquiries voicing their confusion about the RIM announcement," said Basis chief executive Nico Spence.

"Our patent attorney has sent them a cease and desist letter, invoking the U.S. trademark act...requesting a response by October 31. Failing that, we'll take the next logical legal step."

Nevermind any customer confusion; in its response, RIM conveyed a certain degree of mystification itself.

"RIM has not yet received a copy of the legal complaint described in Basis International's press release, but we do not believe the marks are confusing, particularly since our respective companies are in different lines of business," the company said in a statement to Reuters.

The news comes as the latest report by YouGov suggests more than half BlackBerry's userbase plan to abandon the platform after BBM's recent blackout.

Estimations by asymco also suggest the OS is in big trouble in the US, with its current rate of decline suggesting it could be wiped out entirely by the end of 2012.

[source: Reuters]
Contributing Editor

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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