It’s not like Research In Motion needs any more headaches, but it has another one with a trademark lawsuit over its new BBX operating system name. Basis International, a New Mexico software company, has followed up with threats against RIM with a lawsuit claiming that it owns the trademark to the BBX name and would be harmed by RIM’s product name.
Earlier this month, RIM unveiled its next generation operating system built off its purchase of QNX and called it BBX. Software developers will be able to use a BBX SDK to build apps for the platform. Basis’ BBX is a set of tools and languages that help developers write programs for multiple operating systems. Basis has been using the BBX name since as early as 1985 and was granted a trademark in 1995.
RIM previously told Reuters that it doesn’t think there’s a conflict because the two companies compete in different markets. But Basis is arguing there’s enough overlap to cause confusion in the minds of consumers. It wants an injunction to stop RIM from using the BBX name along with damages.
It’ll be interesting to see how RIM deals with this, if it goes to court or just comes to an agreement with Basis, similar to how Apple worked out concerns with Cisco over the original iPhone name. But either way, it’s another distraction for RIM, which has been going through a rough patch lately with a huge outage earlier this month, declining sales and market share losses. Naming a next-generation OS should be the least of RIM’s problems, but that’s not the case here.