RIM faces trademark dispute over BBX name

Software company claims that the name of RIM's upcoming OS violates its trademark for a cross-platform development tool

Less than a week after it announced plans for a new platform called BBX for its smartphones and tablet, Research in Motion is facing the threat of legal action from a software company in Albuquerque, N.M., that claims that BBx is the trademark of software it sells.

Basis International has taken legal action to preserve and protect its "longstanding ownership" of the BBx trademarked operating system-independent language, database, and toolset, it said in a statement Wednesday. Basis said a press release from RIM announcing a new BlackBerry operating system named BBX is causing confusion among users of BBx software and could potentially harm its reputation for enabling cross-platform application development, it added.

[ InfoWorld's Galen Gruman says BlackBerry's "new" BBX OS is just more of the same. | Learn how to manage iPads, iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other mobile devices in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights via Twitter and with the Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]

RIM announced on Tuesday that it will use the BBX name for a future software platform for BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablets, based on the QNX software used in the PlayBook.

The U.S. Patents and Trademark Office registered the trademark BBX to Basis on July 4, 2006, in the field of "Computer programs and associated documentation providing tools and programming language to enable software developers to create and prepare business, internet, and applications software."

However, RIM dismissed Basis's concerns on Thursday, saying that although it has not yet seen the legal complaint, it does not believe the marks are confusing because the two companies are in different lines of business.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's email address is john_ribeiro@idg.com.

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