With the whole 'BBX' dispute now a thing of the past, RIM once again is facing some legal woes -- this time over their use of BBM. The Toronto based broadcast industry group BBM Canada has a long standing history of using the BBM trademark, and is now taking action against RIM in an effort to get the rights to their name back, claiming that RIM's use of the trademark is infringement.
“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.”
According to documents, RIM applied for a “BBM” trademark and was advised by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office that the trademark “was not registrable,” but they still went ahead and used it, even going so far as to show it as a trademark on their corporate website. This use caused confusion for the smaller company, noting that their email addresses were often confused for that of RIM employees and they even began receiving customer support requests for RIM's BlackBerry Messenger service.
BBM Canada is a group that was established back in 1944 and operated as the Bureau of Broadcast Management, to later shorten the name to BBM Canada. In August Jim MacLeod, president and chief executive officer of BBM Canada, went ahead and filed suit against RIM after attempts to reach out to RIM failed. Now the company is seeking an injunction stopping RIM from using the name in addition to seeking damages.
Thus far RIM has refused to comment on the matter, but looking at the situation it appears to be a losing battle. Much like RIM's use of the BBX name, the BBM mark has indeed been in use for a while. After having been advised not to use it, I can't see how RIM could ever possibly win this one nor do I personally believe they should. I seriously hope some of RIM's 'restructuring' involved firing some of their lawyers, because even I, with no legal degree or experience, can see that it's just common sense to check on a trademark before you know, using it and claiming it as your own.