by Mike Masnick
Fri, Nov 9th 2007 11:31am
While we're often quite critical of frivolous trademark lawsuits that are clearly designed to to shut someone up or to try to squeeze money out of someone, there are times when trademark lawsuits are quite well justified. As we've said repeatedly, the real purpose of trademark law isn't about "intellectual property" at all -- but rather, it should be viewed as a consumer protection law. That is, it's really designed to keep Bob's Cola from packaging its bottles up so that people are tricked into thinking they're buying Coca Cola. So, with that in mind, it would seem that RIM has a pretty strong trademark case against handset maker LG, who has been trying to sell new phones with names like Black Label, Strawberry and Black Cherry. The "Black Label" one is more borderline -- as it's hard to see that RIM should be able to control the use of the word "Black" as it relates to any mobile device. However, it's not hard to see people hearing names like Strawberry and Black Cherry on a mobile device and simply assuming that they're somehow related to RIM's BlackBerry. Even worse, LG had apparently wanted to call one of its new devices the BlackPearl -- which is really sketchy, seeing as RIM is offering a device called the BlackBerry Pearl. On this one, we'd say that even the moron in a hurry test suggests that people would be confused into thinking that some of these LG phones were from RIM.
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