updated 10:45 pm EST, Tue December 6, 2011
RIM barred from using name of next OS
RIM faced a symbolic setback for its platform Tuesday after BASIS successfully landed a temporary block on the use of the BBX name. An Albuquerque court determined that the upcoming BlackBerry platform's use was "identical" to BASIS' mobile app platform and had to stop during BlackBerry DevCon Asia between December 7 and 8. Letting RIM use the trademark could confuse people and make them think that BASIS' app platform would only work on the unreleased platform, the court argued.
The judge rejected RIM objections that centered around the event taking place in Singapore. As long as RIM did business in the US, the restraining order counted, the court said. BASIS, meanwhile, had proven it had a clear connction and had been actively using the trademark since 1985.
The restriction didn't preclude RIM from using the BBX name afterwards unless BASIS landed a longer preliminary ban during its lawsuit. In getting the temporary restriction, however, it will have forced RIM to hide as many mentions of BBX as possible with just hours before DevCon was due to start, creating major problems for a gathering where the future OS was a key subject.
BASIS' win might set a risky precedent for RIM by showing beliefs that the name causes immediate damage. The first BBX phones could ship as soon as March and may force an about-face on the OS name unless RIM can persuade BASIS to license the name out.