RIM to change BBX platform name to BlackBerry 10 amid legal furor

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) said it will change the name of its forthcoming next-generation smartphone platform from BBX to "BlackBerry 10" after a federal judge temporarily blocked RIM from using the BBX name over a trademark dispute.

The decision by the federal judge in New Mexico barred RIM from using the BBX name at a developer conference in Singapore this week and handed a legal victory to Albuquerque, N.M.-based global business software company Basis International Ltd., which claimed it has held a trademark on BBX for 26 years. Although the move likely won't have much of a financial effect on RIM, it is another blow to the beleaguered smartphone maker, which first unveiled the BBX moniker in mid-October.

"RIM doesn't typically comment on pending litigation, however RIM has already unveiled a new brand name for its next generation mobile platform," RIM said in a statement. A tweet from RIM's official developer Twitter feed said that BlackBerry 10 will be "the official name of the next generation platform that will power future BlackBerry smartphones."

RIM has been counting on BlackBerry 10 smartphones, which will run on the same QNX-based software powering RIM's PlayBook tablet, to catapult it back into prominence in the mobile market. RIM expects to sell BlackBerry 10-powered phones starting next year. RIM has been steadily losing market share, especially in the U.S. market, to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

RIM took another hit last week when it said it would book a pretax charge of $485 million for its fiscal third quarter related to weaker than expected sales of the PlayBook. The company also said it would slightly miss its revenue forecast for the quarter and said it no longer expects to achieve its full-year earnings guidance.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Toronto Star article
- see this Globe and Mail article

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