Why don't more companies take a gander at existing names and trademarks before making the leap and pushing off with new branding initiatives? The effort required to do your homework ahead of time is minuscule relative to the legal fees spent in trademark infringement suits.
The latest example is doomed BlackBerry maker Research In Motion
A small software shop out of New Mexico called Basis International had previously threatened to sue since it was granted the BBX trademark more than 15 years ago. That company's BBx is a handful of tools to aid developers create programs for multiple operating systems.
Basis gave RIM fair warning with a cease and desist letter threatening legal action, which RIM promptly ignored since it's of the opinion that both companies operate in "different lines of business" and the overlap wouldn't cause confusion among consumers.
RIM's fumble isn't nearly as comical as Netflix's widely derided Qwikster rebranding attempt that was justifiably aborted. A simple Web search would have likely turned up the Twitter account sporting a picture of an Elmo with a rather unwholesome habit and a penchant for typos and profanity.
Both of Apple's
Now not only does Research In Motion need to fret over market share losses and service outages, but must also embark upon a trademark infringement case over a three-letter trademark. Couldn't the company have just used three different letters, or added a fourth letter to avoid this whole mess?
- Add Research In Motion to your watchlist to keep up with its four-letter words.