RIM sues Samsung for trademark infringement

13 Dec 2006

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) The maker of BlackBerry mobile devices is suing the maker of the new 'BlackJack' smart phone, charging Samsung with trademark infringement.

The suit brought by Research in Motion (RIM) in US Distinct Court for Central California alleges that 'Samsung's use of the name `BlackJack' in connection with a smartphone' amounts to 'unfair competition and trademark dilution.'

The BlackJack was introduced last month in the US by Cingular Wireless, which also happens to be the single largest purveyor of BlackBerry devices and email service. Like a growing number of advanced mobile phones, the BlackJack features a full 'QWERTY' keyboard for thumb typing messages, a concept first popularized by the BlackBerry.

A Samsung spokesman said the Korean company does not comment on pending legal matters. Cingular also declined comment on the suit, saying only that it continues to sell both devices.

Samsung introduced a very similar device to the BlackJack earlier this year in Britain through Vodafone under a different brand name, the i600.

In its suit, RIM suggested it was no accident that Samsung used a different name overseas, where BlackBerry is less popular, and then chose the BlackJack name for the market where BlackBerry is best known.

Though nearly identical in shape and size, there are differences between the i600 and the BlackJack: the i600, for example, is equipped with two built-in cameras, on the front and one on the back; the BlackJack has one.

RIM's suit also suggested that Samsung chose the BlackJack to take advantage of the recent launch a BlackBerry device called the Pearl that is similarly small and also black in color.

© 2006 The Associated Press

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