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Basis sues RIM over BBX trademark infringement

RIM BBX Laziridius 2
RIM BBX Laziridius 2

RIM's next-gen operating system, BBX, hasn't had a very good run so far: co-CEO Mike Laziridius failed to give many details during BlackBerry DevCon, the PlayBook 2.0 OS on which it is based has been delayed until 2012, and now RIM is facing a lawsuit over the name itself.

The lawsuit comes from Basis International, which has used the "BBx" name to describe its own operating system since 1985 and also holds a trademark on the name. Three days after Basis complained directly to RIM about the term, it's taken the complaint to a district court in New Mexico. Basis alleges that RIM's use of the term infringes on its trademark. Trademark infringement generally requires that there be no "confusion" between marks, and Basis contends that since both refer to operating systems, this is a clear-cut case. In fact, Basis says that it has already fielded questions from customers about the confusion. For its part, RIM obviously disagrees — it responded to Basis' original allegations last week in a statement given to Reuters:

"RIM has not yet received a copy of the legal complaint described in Basis International's press release, but we do not believe the marks are confusing, particularly since our respective companies are in different lines of business."

As always with these types of disputes, it's likely going to be awhile before it all shakes out and there's probably a good chance that a settlement will be the end result. In the meantime, the lawsuit is just one more sign that BBX can't seem to catch a break, stumbling out of the gate instead of leapfrogging the competition.