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BBM Canada hits RIM with trademark infringement over BBM use


The pile keeps growing for RIM. Just when you think they are in the clear for a couple days, something else emerges. After allegations of trademark infringement, RIM recently shifted BBX, their upcoming smartphone software platform that will “leapfrog” the competition, to “BlackBerry 10″.

Now a Toronto-based company called BBM Canada is going after RIM for infringing on their “BBM” trademark. BBM Canada, according to their website provides “provide broadcast measurement and consumer behaviour data, as well as industry-leading intelligence to broadcasters, advertisers and agencies”. RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger, otherwise known as BBM, is one of RIM’s saving graces, has over 50 million subscribers and offers them encrypted instant messaging between BlackBerry users. Apparently at the BBM Canada offices, employees are being mistaken for RIM employees and have been getting calls requesting support for RIM’s BBM service.

BBM Canada attempted to negotiate with RIM, but talks failed – they even went as far as offering to completely rebrand the company, possibly at RIM’s expense, but again there was no response. So now a court hearing is scheduled for January 11th, 2012. BBM Canada is  requesting RIM and all their employees to stop using the term BBM, plus ponying up for damages to their brand for infringing on their trademark.

Jim MacLeod, president and CEO of BBM Canada said “We want our name back… 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.”

Just another day…

Source: Globe

  • Jesse

    Geez….

    • paco

      Is that like the WWF wanting their name back from Vince McMahon – so when I think of panda bears I really should be thinking about machoman randy savage..

  • Mike

    RIM has no balls.

    • NogooglefortheoldRIM

      RIM has no access to Google!

  • Jay

    For the love of christmas!

  • Dawn

    I don’t get it. Why now? Why didn’t BBM Canada address this issue beforehand? After all these years?

  • Jason Blastattack

    Every time i piss on the RIM of the toilet seat do I get to sue Blackberry?

    • NogooglefortheoldRIM

      You just want to rain on their parade,and you are a party pooper!

  • Mike

    I’m thinking exactly what @Dawn is thinking.

    BBM Canada will lose this case. That’s why RIM never bothered with them to begin with lmao

  • Dave

    I am at a loss for words… -reads post again and again in disbelief- Of all the time why now? That’ll be a point of question for RIM as a defense to get this dropped.

  • Master

    never a boring day at rim

  • InfinitiGuy

    Sounds like BBM was looking for RIM pay for their brand revamping and they didn’t get it so now they are upset.

  • Lol

    Pretty obvious this is a bullshit lawsuit. Complete nonsense. RIM will obviously win this.

  • deltatux

    RIM just can’t catch a break eh? I honestly haven’t heard a single good news about RIM this year.

  • 80

    When I hear “BBM,” I know we’re talking about BlackBerry Messenger. BBM Canada; I have NEVER heard of you guys.

    • NogooglefortheoldRIM

      BBM= Big Bowel Movement

  • AJ

    first of all, BBM Canada doens’t own any rights..they are just using this opportunity to make themself stand out. If they wanted to then before they would have filed a lawsuit. This is just a rumor that I don’t understand when there is no substantive evidence.

  • Kid.Canada

    Hahahaha Damaging their brand??! I don’t think anybody’s ever heard of them until now. I guess they’re just doing this to get some publicity which is why RIM isn’t responding. Makes sense cuz they never said a word about this for years and now they choose to since everyones already taking shots at RIM.

  • Frank

    Correct me if I’m wrong because I don’t know RIM’s history, but was it not that since however long BBM has existed on Blackberry’s, it was called “Blackberry Messenger” by RIM and the users as a community began to colloquially refer to it as “BBM” which RIM later adapted to for branding?? Or was it always BBM? Because if it was called “Blackberry Messenger” officially and then rebranded because users began referring to it as “BBM” then is RIM really to blame for marketing using the terms its user-base has coined for it?

  • The man

    RIM never called the messaging service bbm, they call it BlackBerry Messenger , so if the consumer decide to use shortcut to call it BBM that’s on them not RIM

    • Kid.Canada

      On the Playbook its branded as BBM, and also “BBM” Music so technically they are using that officially but since noones ever heard of them, one could only think they’re doing this for publicity. So I don’t think RIM’s gotta worry about losing this case.

  • howitzer

    Apple ?

  • ELNY

    Lol poor RIM. @Frank…you are right about that. I think RIM should just change the official name back to Blackberry Messenger and let ppl continue calling it BBM. Lol.

  • Susan

    I can just see it now, BBM Canada sues the customers for using their name. Good luck with that! LOL. I just checked my Bold 9900 and RIM calls it BlackBerry Messenger. No where on my BB is it called BBM. It’s not RIM’s fault if consumers or developers calls it BBM. So in your face BBM Canada! I think BlackBerry users should join together as a united front and fight BBM Canada on this one. Show some love and support for RIM. :)

  • Andy

    ^my thought exactly
    i think they are just trying to get free publicity and won’t go on with this case which would be why they tried to negotiate with RIM

  • lol

    http://www.google.com

    “BBM”

    First link: BBM Canada
    Second link: BBM

    Click second link.

    Count BBM 12+ times. BBM has even a TM superscript affixed to it.

    Look up BBM Canada… been around way before RIM started using BBM.

    BBM Canada goes out of it’s way, going as far as (!) even REBRANDING ITSELF on RIM’s dime and not asking for damages.

    RIM trolls BBM Canada. Ignores.

    BBM Canada goes wtf? And finally reluctantly sues.

    Let’s see, BBM Canada clearly used BBM first, RIM infringed on it, the infringement had a huge negative effect on BBM’s business, BBM tried to settle the matter outside of court, RIM ignored BBM and kept damaging it’s business, and BBM finally sued to resolve this.

    Yeah, RIM will win the lawsuit? Why now? BlackBerry has been using ‘BBM’ for what, perhaps 2 years tops now? BBM Canada was likely trying to resolve this matter but RIM ignored.

    ah well, another nail in the coffin for RIP. I mean RIM.

    - Rim Rider

    “Come ride with me”

    • Joe

      Was there a point to all that??

  • Adrian F

    Don’t be too certain folks. The Bureau of Broadcast Measurement has been around for decades and has been known as BBM for almost as long. The bottom line is that RIM is using the branding which is already trademarked in Canada therefore they could actually lose this one.

  • roman129

    Why now you ask?
    BBM Canada is a legit television analytics company, and they were using the name before RIM, negotiations failed. But because BBX just won their claim, it sets a court precedent, so these guys will have an easier time convincing the courts.
    Personally I don’t think RIM will be forced to re-brand BBM messenger, but BBM Canada just wants to be awarded some damages payments while RIM still has some money.

  • zar

    While the BBX case is clearly not in favor of RIM, I can’t see BBM Canada having a case here…UNLESS they operated before RIM did.

    • Zomby

      They did, for decades.

  • Jak

    RIM will win this. This case is just plain ridiculous.

  • Susan

    All these lawsuits are getting out of hand! Perhaps RIM should sue Tim Horton’s for using “Roll up the “Rim” to win”.

  • Anthony E.

    Seems Canadian companies are getting jealous of the sue-happy American ones…

  • Mikey

    BBM Canada is a not for profit organization that has been operating since 1944. They are the Nielsen of Canada – in that they collect tv/radio viewership information for their members. Their members are just about every tv and radio station in Canada. They use this information to determine program popularity, scheduling, and advertising costs.

  • intelligent_pantaloons

    RIM is run by the kinds of people who would rather burn cash to solve a problem than do anything efficiently. This is a shining example.

  • Shawn B

    I remember the world wildlife foundation suing the world wrestling federation over the WWF name. The world wildlife foundation eventually won.

  • Matt

    Oh for f**k sakes… I say RIM buys BBM Canada in a hostile take over, liquidates all of their assets, fires their employees and burns down the building just to give people a second thought to f*****g with the countries biggest tech company.

  • john

    i think this is just purely opportunistic.probably they want to make some big money out of it.

  • Jan

    long live RIM. Nuts to the random company no ones ever heard off.

  • Anthon

    First of all, a trade name isn’t the same as a registered trademark. So, it doesn’t matter what BBM Canada’s founding date was.

    Second, BBM Canada can’t claim first use. If you search the CIPO database, Siemens applied to register the mark “BBM” in 2001 (although later abandoned). BBM Canada’s filing wasn’t until 2005.

    Third, the proper forum for BBM Canada’s dispute is to file an objection to RIM’s application to register the mark.

    This is just BBM Canada looking for the spotlight and its 3 minutes of fame.

  • Jesse

    I love these lawsuits, people wait years after to file.

  • larson

    bbm?

    big black butts?

    • Joe

      last time I checked, ‘butts’ doesn’t start with the letter m. I think you can still find sesame street on tv if you want to go back and learn your alphabet.

  • Netguru

    I gotta say both Dawn and Anthon are bang on.

    Once RIM registered the trademark “BBM”, BBM Canada had a limited amount of time (I believe it is 3 years) to file an objection/claim if they believed that it infringed on their name. They did not do that. I would not be surprised if RIM gets this summarily dismissed.

  • Joe

    Interesting – check out the bbm canada logo compared to the RIM logo – some interesting similarities there.

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