Poor RIM Renames BBX ‘BlackBerry 10’ Due to Trademark Woes

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RIM, Techland Illustration

Research in Motion can’t catch a break. The maker of BlackBerry phones is giving up on the name “BBX” for its next-generation operating system due to trademark issues, and will call it “BlackBerry 10” instead.

RIM announced the change on its Twitter page, after a federal court in Albuquerque issued a temporary restraining order against the company. As ReadWriteWeb reports, a company named Basis Software already uses “BBx” for a version of the BASIC language interpreter, and sought the restraining order to stop RIM from using the BBX name at a developer conference in Asia.

(MORE: The Tragic Decline of BlackBerry)

Although the order is temporary, RIM is giving up the fight for good. The company confirmed the name change to the Wall Street Journal.

I liked the name BBX because it implied a clean break from the existing BlackBerry OS, which looks outdated next to Android, the iPhone and Windows Phones. RIM will continue making phones based on the old software–BlackBerry 7 being the current version–so a jump to BlackBerry 10 might confuse customers.

Then again, the new name suggests that RIM may phase out the old OS before long, as it should. RIM’s existing line of BlackBerry phones has been losing U.S. market share for years, and global market share is now slipping as well, according to Gartner.

BlackBerry 10 is supposed to be a modern OS, bringing to smartphones the powerful multitasking, full-featured web browser and rich apps that debuted in RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. But that may not be enough to reverse the company’s fortunes, as even the PlayBook has been a commercial disaster. RIM is taking a $485 million writedown for a PlayBook fire sale, unloading the tablets at $200 and up instead of $500.

There’s still no word on when RIM will release its first BlackBerry 10 phones, but rumors suggest a third quarter 2012 launch.

MORE: The Future of BlackBerry is BBX