From BBX to BlackBerry 10

Less than sixty days after Research in Motion (RIM) announced that the new operating system that will revive the BB brand will be named BBX, RIM has suddenly changed it to BlackBerry 10. The name change was due to the restraining order granted by a Federal Court in New Mexico in favor of software maker based in Albuquerque. Basis International claimed that it their company has been using the name BBx for long. However, in a statement issued last December 7, RIM did not address the issue about the trademark infringement claimed by Basis International. According to RIM’s management, “The BlackBerry 10 name reflects the significance of the new platform and will leverage the global strength of the BlackBerry brand while also aligning perfectly with RIM’s device branding,” said in their official statement. In line with this, the company also chose not to answer the questions whether or not they will be abandoning the BBX name as the trademark for their new operating system.

This hasty rebranding is an addition to the series of setbacks the company experienced in the last few months. For one thing, RIM recently has to restate their financial guidance for the present quarter due to the excessive discounts on BB tablet computers. The financial guidance further affected the company’s already suffering stock price.

The BlackBerry 10 was developed by QNX Software Systems which was acquired by the Research In Motion last year and is based in Ottawa. Although RIM would not admit it, the BBX brand could be an attempt of the company to join the BlackBerry brand with QNX name. Basis International on the other hand has been using both the BBx brand and BBX for several years. The trademark is mainly used on products that enable developers to develop applications that will work on any type of operating system. The chief executive of Basis, Nico Spence, said that “….even the more cursory search for the BBX trademark would have shown that we hold it.”

After Research In Motion announce last October the BBX name during a developer’s conference summit in San Francisco, Basis International immediately sought an injunction using the umbrella of trademark laws. In addition for the permanent injunction, Basis International also requested for a temporary order which has a validity of fourteen days and which will prevent the BlackBerry company to use the BBX name in the developer’s conference in Singapore.

The Chief Executive of Basis still has to hear from RIM regarding the company’s new name for its operating system. However, Mr. Spence said that their company will continue to ask for permanent injunction and damages from the BlackBerry company. And while RIM looks like they are abandoning the BBX name, Basis International believes that this action could only be temporary.

For all those who haven’t heard it yet, the new name BlackBerry 10 follows the traditional practice of Research in Motion of naming their operating systems with numbers. The OS that BlackBerry 10 will replace is known as BlackBerry 7.

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