RIM, Samsung reach settlement over BlackJack suit

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has reached a settlement in its trademark infringement lawsuit against Samsung over that company's new 'BlackJack' smart phone, the companies announced.

RIM said in a statement that the settlement of the lawsuit it filed in December includes 'immediate provisions for the protection of RIM's valuable trademarks,' but that the companies had agreed to keep specific terms of the deal confidential.

A spokesman for Samsung at the South Korean company's US headquarters in Texas confirmed that a settlement had been reached.

RIM's statement said the settlement 'does include limitations on use of the Blackjack trademark, withdrawal of the trademark application for Blackjack, Cingular's retention of common law rights in the Blackjack trademark, and certain reasonable measures to avoid confusion in the marketplace.'

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for Central California, had alleged unfair competition and trademark dilution by Samsung in using the name BlackJack in connection with a handheld device that like the BlackBerry features a full keyboard for thumb typing email.

The BlackJack was introduced in November in the US by AT&T's Cingular Wireless, which also happens to be the single largest purveyor of BlackBerry devices and email service.

Samsung introduced a very similar device to the BlackJack earlier in 2006 in Britain through Vodafone Group under a different brand name, the i600.

In its lawsuit, RIM suggested it was no accident that Samsung used a different name overseas, where BlackBerry is less popular, and then chose the BlackJack name for the market where BlackBerry is best known.

© 2007 The Associated Press

© 2007 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved