Court clears RIM to use BBM moniker

TORONTO Thu May 31, 2012 7:09pm EDT

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion is free to use the BBM moniker for its popular BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service after a court ruled the use did not infringe on the trademark of a company that measures Canadian television and radio audiences.

"We are pleased that the Federal Court of Canada sided with RIM and confirmed that RIM's use of BBM does not infringe the trademark rights of BBM Canada as they had alleged," the company said in a statement on Thursday.

BBM Canada sought to stop RIM from advertising the service using the shortened name. The term BBM is used informally by millions of BlackBerry customers to refer to the service that allows them to send each other text and multimedia files and see when they are delivered and read.

BBM Canada had said it would consider changing its name for a price.

The company, which was established in 1944 as the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement before changing its name to BBM in the 1960s and to BBM Canada in the early 1990s, could not be immediately reached for comment outside of business hours.

The trademark fight was a minor headache for the BlackBerry maker which this week said it had hired investment bankers to assess its strategic direction and would post an operating loss as its global sales sink.

BBM Canada is owned by a collection of broadcasters and advertisers and has annual revenue of around $50 million. RIM had sales of about $4.2 billion for the last quarter.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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