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Blackberry The Courts

Trademark Trouble For RIM Over New "BBX" Name 95

AZA43 writes "As if its latest BlackBerry service outage--the worst in company history--and the mass exodus of BlackBerry users to iOS and Android weren't bad enough, RIM is now facing a potential trademark lawsuit over the name of its next generation BlackBerry OS: BBX. The BBX announcement was the most significant news to come from RIM's BlackBerry Developer Conference this week, and now it looks like RIM may have change the upcoming platform's name to something else. RIM just can't seem to do anything right these days."
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Trademark Trouble For RIM Over New "BBX" Name

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  • due diligence? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:43PM (#37786978) Journal
    I mean, come on people - you could hire a fucking INTERN for $10 an hour to look and see if there's any prior art or previous use of the term BBX, and I'm pretty sure that even if the kid isn't that bright or skilled, after about a week, they would have been able to give some kind of a thumbs up/down on this. This is just GLARING incompetence and mind boggling arrogance on the part of RIM.
    • Re:due diligence? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by swebster ( 530246 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:49PM (#37787030) Homepage
      Almost as crazy as naming your product "iPhone" when there was already another phone with that name.
      • The iPhone trademark had been filed in the 90s by a company that Cisco bought in 2000. The trademark hadn't been used in a phone since 2001, and had expired, except it was in an extended period when Cisco could still renew it by paying an extra fee.

        To renew it, Cisco had to show the trademark was currently in use in commerce. The proof would be a photo of the retail packaging sent to the USPTO. So Cisco literally took an existing Linksys VOIP phone box, slapped an "iPhone" sticker on it, and sent that to th

      • by sootman ( 158191 )

        The difference is in the response.

        Apple: "Hi Cisco, here's a large check, thanks for letting us use the name." (And I guarantee you they were in discussions with Cisco BEFORE the Apple iPhone was launched. The name was settled shortly thereafter.)

        RIM: whine, whine, whine.

        Come on RIM, a freaking GOOGLE SEARCH would have shown you on Page 1 that someone else was using 'bbx' for another piece of software. You're not that helpless.

        Firefox already went through this twice with Phoenix (the BIOS) and Firebird (the

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Moryath ( 553296 )

      Funny. Nobody in the world has ever fucking heard of the other BBX before. A cursory Google search comes up with a NYSE stock listing (BBX = BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc), BroadBandXpress (, "BBX Inc" bodybuilding scam artists, "BBX Technologies" (, and on the SECOND page, one of the shittiest written Wikipedia entries I've ever had the misfortune to lay eyes on (

      Trademark trolls, Patent trolls... trolls is trolls.

      • Nobody in the world has ever fucking heard of the other BBX before.

        That doesn't matter. I understand that company applied for trademarks on all letters between "B" and "Z", so you should expect a lot more lawsuits to come.

      • Nobody in the world has ever fucking heard of the other BBX before.

        I've fucking heard of BBx! I'm surprised it still exists. I can't believe there's a fucking Thoroughbred Basic for Vista. At least MAI Basic Four, Micro Five, and Microshare seem to have fallen by the wayside.

        But JHFCoaS, nothing says "stuck in the '70s" like BBx. Oy!

        • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Friday October 21, 2011 @02:05AM (#37787984) Journal

          Conspiracy Theory ....

          BB knew that BBX was already taken. They announce "BBX" anyway, get publicity for the announcement. Then BBX trademark owner Basis comes along and complains, rightly so AND PREDICTABLE, more publicity. Next up, BB changes the name to something else, gets MORE PUBLICITY and comes off either looking really good ("oops sorry") or if they do it wrong like an idiot ("Doh, sorry"). I give them two days to change the name before they look like idiots.

          Three rounds of publicity on product name alone. AND everyone here will know what the name is. There is no such thing as "Bad Publicity", if it is managed right.

    • Re:due diligence? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @11:12PM (#37787164)

      Maybe. RIMs response seems to indicate they think that the fields are far enough apart that it isn't a trademark violation, and they may be right. An OS vs a database/ toolset/ language? Just being in the tech field doesn't mean there is a trademark violation.

      A search on the USPTO shows several "BBX" tms, (including BASIS), several of which are in the tech field (on is even for a telecommunications suite). This took me ~45 seconds. I'm guessing they did the same. I think RIM definitely intended to say that the terms aren't in the same specific field and are therefore not confusing. Actual practice may prove them wrong, which would really suck for them.

      • RIMM is naming a mobile software platform and could argue there is enough difference that they can coexist. It might be a long fight though.
    • From here, I can hear Mike Lazaridis' and Jim Balsillie's moms singing Soft kitty while rubbing their respectives chests.
    • by AZA43 ( 1109189 )
      Completely agree. This is ridiculous.
    • Since the result is an hybrid from BlackBerry acronym and QNX, this was leaving three choices: BBQ, BBN and BBX, none of these were available or appropriate.
  • by js3 ( 319268 )

    BBNX isn't so bad. Why don't they trademark names before they announce them?

  • I mean, c'mon, do a google search before you name a flagship product, at least check to see if the name has already been used.

    The BBx folks (company name BASIS) have been around for over 25 years and have many thousands of sites using their products in the US, Eurozone, and the far east. A large VAR base and some great new products built with Java that run almost anywhere, from server to PC to hand held phone or tablet..

    Maybe the RIM folks think they'll get away with it because they're bigger ?

    • by tarball ( 34682 )

      Interesting how these things show up or not depending on how they are handled.

      OS9 was the unix like OS released by Motorola in 1979. Built to a tightly coupled OS to the Motorola 6809 processor. Great CPU (mostly 16 bit pretending to be 8) and great OS with a breakthrough version of BASIC that was called BASIC09 and was way beyond what you would expect. You didn't have to use GOTO. You had labels. And lots more.

      I assumed Apple bought the name since it suddenly (from my limited perspective) disappeared

      • by msauve ( 701917 )
        Apple never had a product called "OS9." (nor did Motorola, and Microware's product was "OS-9"). Apple had "Mac OS 9", which was preceded by "Mac OS 8", and followed by "Mac OS X". Apple didn't buy any rights, it was settled in court as "not a likely source of confusion."
  • They just can't catch a break, can they?

    But the complainant has clearly been using the BBx name long before RIM. It's even a technology purposed product. They're justified in defending their trademark -- it's how the system is supposed to work.

    • by Animats ( 122034 )

      This is going to cost RIM money. BBX [], Business Basic eXtended, was a bigger deal 20 years ago than it is now, but it still has some user base. 3 letters, though, are a weak trademark, unless very well known. For a rather lame choice of letters, though, this was dumb.

      Apple had to settle with Cisco over "IPhone"'; Cisco did in fact have a VoIP phone system called that. Apple over the years had to pay off McIntosh Amplifiers and Apple Records (both notable brands in the 1960s). Apple had a second round of t

      • Sorry but why are they not just renaming their products? It's not like anyone really cares what you call something.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Change your product's name. Not that big of a deal.


          Sent from my iPhone

        • by Cinder6 ( 894572 )

          "There's nothing wrong with crabgrass. It just has a bad name, that's all. Everyone would love it if it had a cute name, like, uh, elf grass."
          --Homer Simpson

          • by RussR42 ( 779993 )
            Lisa: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
            Bart: Not if you called 'em stench blossoms.
            Homer: Or crapweeds.
            Marge: I'd sure hate to get a dozen crapweeds for Valentine's Day. I'd rather have candy.
            Homer: Not if they were called scumdrops.
    • It is not like they are just catching unlucky break after unlucky break.
      They are showing time and again that they have no idea how to professionally run a company.
      It is not like this BBx thing is even not well known, it was on the top of the first page of a google search before RIM announced their BBX OS and it has a wikipedia entry.

  • ...RIM's product is the best, therefore, "BBKing". Further posts are unnecessary.
  • I'm not going to say that picking a good name to brand your products is not a very important thing-nor that one shouldn't invest the proper amount of resources to properly secure it and make sure it's unique in the market you're aiming for. But I really wish some of these articles weren't so slanted against RIM. I know it's all the rage these days to kick them when they are down, especially when they are in this transition period where they are moving towards a new platform and some of the issues they've

  • It would be so fitting.

  • by Demonantis ( 1340557 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @11:34PM (#37787320)
    Their product isn't even called BBx anymore. They call it BBj so I don't understand why their customers would be confused. []
    • While marketed as a "platform," BBx combines an old version of Basic (Business Basic from the 1980's) that runs on a pseudo PICK O/S environment which in turn runs under Solaris, Linux, and Windows.

      Basis International developed BBj as the "next generation" of BBx that would move from Basic to Java back in the days when everyone thought Java would take over the world.

      To the dismay of Basis, thousands of older customers have been perfectly happy not to migrate their commercial legacy apps off of BBx.

      In other

  • by Logaan ( 1769744 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @11:44PM (#37787378)

    If BBX is supposed to be a combination of BlackBerry and QNX (BBX), and they can't use it, then they should just name it BlackBerry and QNX (BBQ).

    Might be catchy; "Hey, I'll BBQ you later!"

  • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 ) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @11:47PM (#37787402)

    "As if its latest BlackBerry service outage--the worst in company history--and the mass exodus of BlackBerry users to iOS and Android weren't bad enough, RIM is now facing a potential trademark lawsuit over the name of its next generation BlackBerry OS: BBX. The BBX announcement was the most significant news to come from RIM's BlackBerry Developer Conference this week, and now it looks like RIM may have change the upcoming platform's name to something else. RIM just can't seem to do anything right these days."

    Who cares what they call their OS? I don't base my OS selection on name, but rather on performance.

    This article is the tech-equivalent of critiquing the merits of what outfit Kim Kardashian wore out last weekend.

  • This quarter, actually. It makes sense if you think about it.
    • Microsoft's money is offshore. But it's not in Canada. They need to assimilate Skype and Yahoo first anyway. RIM is just going to hang in there 'till 2013 if they're waiting for Microsoft to buy them.
  • Well the search term BBX sure brings up some interesting hits.
  • And Apple had to deal with Cisco and IOS. It's just a name. What really matters is that they own QNX and the OS itself.
  • Publicity play. Can anyone please tell me.... ...if the extra publicity makes you any more likely to program in Business BASIC or for the BlackBerry?

    I worked for a company that provided terminal emulation software for use by BBX on Xenix machines (among other places). While I'm not as surprised as some people to hear they are still around in some form, both companies are now marginal at best.

    I wonder how many people cashed in their $100 worth of free applications for BlackBerry after their (effectively) g

  • If you don't defend trademarks, you can end up losing them. Therefore if a company sees a possible trademark dilution, they have to make some effort to defend it. What in reality will probably happen is that there will be some kind of negotiation between the companies, an agreement signed, and Blackberry will use BBX, as will the original company; they'll just agree not to move into each other's areas.

    The thing though that cracks me up about these cases is the talk of customers being confused. A couple of y

  • They had a BBx operating system as well, it think BASIS Intl bought it from them.

    Having used it, I can tell you is was pretty horrible, not that this is a factor.

  • There is no mass exodus to iPhone / Android. Stop spreading hysteria/fud.

    RIM is doing reasonably well and only will improve over the next few years. Their products are actually quite good, though the media continues to give it lukewarm reception. There are many shortcomings of iPhone that BB excels at (I would know, I own both devices).

    As of right now, there is no replacement for BlackBerry. No other phone is as secure AND gives its users such fine-grained control over firewall and other app access to

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson