Why Is RIM Trying To Block The Trademark On Twitter?

from the twitter-your-answer dept

IP Democracy points us to the news that RIM, the maker of the super popular Blackberry device and service, is apparently trying to block Twitter's trademark application on the name Twitter. Twitter, of course, is the also quite popular online messaging/presence solution. While both the Blackberry and Twitter have been subject of accusation of being addictive, it's difficult to figure out what possible cause RIM could have in blocking the trademark. RIM doesn't appear to have any trademarks on anything similar to Twitter already, and no one seems to have come up with any suggestions on any other reason why RIM might have cause to block the application. Even if RIM has some reason to oppose Twitter, the lack of it being obvious suggests that the whole thing is quite questionable and RIM would be better served letting the matter drop.
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Filed Under: trademark
Companies: rim, twitter


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  • identicon
    Matt Bennett, 9 Apr 2008 @ 11:33am

    They probably feel threatened by Twittwer service on Blackberries, and just want to throw up any road-block they can, regardless of whether it makes sense or not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      mobiGeek, 9 Apr 2008 @ 12:10pm

      Re:

      Why would they be threatened by software that causes users to buy-and-use the BlackBerry even more?

      It isn't clear to me what is going on, but RIM has done an awful lot of work to support the creation and distribution of 3rd party apps (facebook, msn, yahoo, aol, etc...).

      Do you think there is something specific about Twitter's service (different from, say, Facebook) that threatens RIM?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jeff, 9 Apr 2008 @ 12:11pm

    Obvious?

    I didn't realize "obviousness" was a ground for opposition for a trademark.

    And, really, I'm not sure that "twitter" would even be considered "descriptive" by the fairly low standards of the PTO. So, unless RIM (or anyone really) has use priority for Twitter in the same class of goods/services, I can't see on what basis the TM should be denied.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 9 Apr 2008 @ 12:27pm

      Re: Obvious?

      I didn't realize "obviousness" was a ground for opposition for a trademark.

      Sorry, wasn't saying they opposed it based on "obviousness." I was just saying it's not at all obvious what RIM believes it has rights to that conflict with Twitter, and thus it seems odd that they would oppose the trademark. If they have some other service they're planning, it hasn't launched yet (so hasn't been used in commerce) and adding it now, after Twitter is so well recognized doesn't seem sensible.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:09pm

    What does RIM do that a moron in a hurry might mistakenly use Twitter for?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    yo ho ho...., 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:29pm

    Sour Grapes!

    Ever since RIM was on the losing of a patent suit and was forced to pay up over $250million and nearly shut down in the US... it has been looking for any chance to get even in the US court system.

    This company is a true financial fraud -- but well sheltered by the Canadian auditors (with gov't protection), as it is one of the only remaining Canadian public companies that has not collapsed post-bubble implosion (ala 24-7, Tibco, Nortel, etc.).

    Hate this company -- and can't wait to see it fall as all one-trick ponies eventually do!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:35pm

      Re: Sour Grapes!

      Ever since RIM was on the losing of a patent suit and was forced to pay up over $250million and nearly shut down in the US... it has been looking for any chance to get even in the US court system.

      Hmm. Well, it was over $600 million, not $250 million, and it was on patents that the USPTO then rejected... so I think the company has a legitimate beef.

      But, um, honestly... even if RIM were trying to "get even" with the US court system, I seriously doubt it would go about doing that by protesting a trademark of a tiny San Francisco startup with no revenue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Araemo, 9 Apr 2008 @ 1:54pm

    Regarding trademark BS..

    Remember, trademark law says that if you do not defend your trademark, you risk losing trademark protection. This encourages trademark lawyers to 'defend' their client's trademark anywhere they can justify it, to justify their existence. It leads to a LOT of BS lawsuits, because of the requirement to proactively defend it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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