RIM's Most Recent Marketing Blunder - The UpStream

RIM's Most Recent Marketing Blunder

posted Saturday Dec 10, 2011 by Scott Ertz

RIM's Most Recent Marketing Blunder

Early last year, Research in Motion purchased QNX, a developer of operating systems. RIM started the seemingly long and complex transition of their products from the aging BlackBerry OS to the new QNX-powered operating system. The first device to run on this platform was the BlackBerry PlayBook, announced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Ever since the launch of the device, running the most innovative BlackBerry OS since the original, everyone wanted to know when the new OS would hit phones.

Well, that day is around the corner, but it isn't going quite the way they expected it to go. Like RIM's hiring portal mistake, no one thought to do research on the new product's name - originally dubbed BBX. Well, as it runs out, BBX is a name that is already trademarked, and it didn't take long for the trademark holder, Basis International, to notice and file suit. Basis sued in October and an initial ruling was handed down this week.

To find out the ruling and where RIM goes from here, hit the break.

Obviously, the trademark was upheld and a temporary restraining order has been issued against RIM. It seems that this was enough of a legal loss for RIM to rename the platform, now going by the name BlackBerry 10. District Judge William Johnson's decision said,

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. 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.

While this shows that, once again, RIM is not paying attention to what they are doing, it shouldn't be a major setback for the new platform. The only people who really knew the name as BBX are people in the industry and people who read The UpStream and like-minded publications. Hopefully we will see the new OS show up on existing PlayBooks and new handsets early next year. Perhaps they will even show them off at the upcoming CES 2012.


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