RIM runs into trademark dispute over BBX name for future OS

A software company claims that the name BBX 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, New Mexico, 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.

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' 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 e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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