Earlier this week at DevCon 2011, RIM announced the name and developer framework for their next-gen BlackBerry operating system. BBX was meant to bring the QNX-based operating system on the BlackBerry PlayBook to smartphones, and though we didn’t get a clear picture of what the OS would look like (nevermind what device it would launch on), there’s already a trademark complaint rolling in. BASIS International has a cross-platform development language called BBx, which allows programmers to write apps once, and deploy them to iOS, Android, and yes, BlackBerry. BASIS has vowed to legally defend their trademark, which was first established Business BASIS eXtended (BBx) was first released in 1985 – a significant head start on RIM with the name, at least. RIM doesn’t feel too worried about the issue though; they’ve issued the following statement as a response:
“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.”
BASIS looks like a relatively small company, and though they boast “thousands of product licenses installed worldwide with the ‘BBX’ prefix that run on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and other proprietary UNIX OSs”, I don’t see their challenge proposing a significant hurdle to RIM moving forward with their planned branding. It feels like a launch of BBX is eons away in any case, which should give the two companies to sort out their trademark squabbles.