For those of you who think that such a suit would be frivolous, just look at history. There are thousands of products that have names protected from competitors ripping off others hard work. Many items we identify by an established brand name even we are using an alternative product. Look around you for examples:
Kleenex, while others have to be called "tissues."
Band-Aid, while others have to be called "bandage."
Reynold's Wrap, while others have to be called "aluminum foil."
Tupperware while others have to be called "plastic container."
Vice-Grips while others have to be called "locking pliers."
Teflon while others have to be called "non-stick coating."
Vaseline while others have to be called "petroleum jelly."
Vicks while others have to be called "menthol rub."
Post-It Notes while others have to be called "adhesive or sticky notes."
Q-Tips while others have to be called "cotton swab."
In all of the above examples, manufacturers have policed competitor products to make sure that the name of the competing product does not imply or confuse the public into thinking that they are buying the already established, usually better quality, item or product.
I can assure you that lawsuits related to protecting any of the above have not been deemed frivolous by the courts. Rip-off artists have not gotten away with even the slightest attempts to confuse the public [e.g. "R-Tip swabs," "Post-Em Notes," etc.].
The law protects manufacturers via patent, trademark and copyright laws in recognition of their hard work in research and development, marketing and other efforts in bringing a product to market.
The law recognizes that there will always be those who attempt to compete unfairly by ripping off one's ideas and successes. The thieves range from individual low lifes to countries [former USSR and China, for example].
Have you seen the degree of "ripping off" of U. S. products that occurs in China, because U. S. laws and courts have no jurisdiction in China [obviously]. It's almost comical the names of the products that the Chinese place on products so to confuse people. Of course, I am not even taking into account the huge number of counterfeit products the Chinese make [many of which make their way to the U.S. via eBay, brick and mortar retail, and on line stores].
The 195 million people to whom the newer BlackBerries are marketed to [non-professionals] can get confused by the device names. I know many educated "non-geek" people who would not know squat about the differences between the BlackBerry, 8800, 8100 or Black Jack. Many would go into a store and say something like "I saw this phone on TV. Do you have it? It's black and shiny. It was called 'black' something or other."
Those of you who have said that a RIM suit would be frivolous don't understand any of the above nor do I suspect you have created anything of value that you have had to protect others from ripping off.
The closest to that concept you might have experienced is a college paper. How would you have felt if a fellow student's final exam essay had a catchy title very close to the title you thought up? What if the paper's content clearly indicated the student simply reworded your paper's theme and research. Would you have thought it was frivolous to complain to the professor about the student ripping off your paper?
And to anyone who posted on this BlackBerry related website that they hope RIM loses the lawsuit, that's ridiculous.
Last edited by SanFrancisco : 12-17-2006 at 07:06 PM.