Research In Motion doesn’t appear to know how to legally select monikers for their services. We recently saw RIM drop BBX for BlackBerry 10 as they were forced by U.S. courts. Now, they’re getting slapped with another trademark infringement suit over the BBM name.
A company who has been around since 1944 called Bureau of Broadcast Management, are the ones who will face RIM in a Toronto court. Bureau of Broadcast Management eventually changed their name to BBM Canada. They launched a court proceeding against RIM after attempts to negotiate failed, and now prepare for a January 11, 2012 hearing.
“We want our name back,” said Jim MacLeod, president and chief executive officer of BBM Canada. “I find it kind of amazing that this wouldn’t have been thought about before they decided to use the name. The same thing goes for BBX.”
This new trademark suit has the potential to greatly impact one of RIM’s most important features. BBM Canada owns the bbm.ca domain and uses the letters ‘BBM’ in their logo. Mr. MacLeod said he offered to rebrand BBM Canada, if RIM covered the costs, but says he received no answer. He also claims they had received calls from BlackBerry customers mistakenly asking questions about the BlackBerry Messenger service.
According to court documents, In 2010, when RIM began the BBM-focused advertising campaign, the company applied for a “BBM” trademark, but was advised by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, in a letter dated Feb. 24, 2010, that the trademark “was not registerable.”
It will be interesting to see the fate of ‘BBM’ as it is used as a reference to BlackBerry Messenger. We’ll know soon enough once the two parties go to court in January 2012. Do you think RIM should have the name ‘BBM’ stripped away from them? Sound off in the comments.