RIM sues Samsung over BlackJack name

Maker of BlackBerry devices files lawsuit charging copyright infringement for the naming of Samsung's new smart phone.

Research In Motion is suing Samsung, claiming that the name of the company's new BlackJack smart phone is too similar to that of RIM's own BlackBerry devices.

The suit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. RIM is seeking an injunction against the sale of the new BlackJack phones. In the complaint, RIM said Samsung's use of the "BlackJack" name "constitutes false designation of origin, unfair competition and trademark dilution."

RIM contends that its BlackBerry devices, used by more than 6 million people around the world to send and receive e-mail, have become iconic in both form and function. The BlackJack, which runs Windows Mobile operating system and has a full QWERTY keyboard, competes directly with many of RIM's devices, including the BlackBerry Pearl, a phone designed to attract consumers rather than RIM's typical business customers. The company says it believes the name BlackJack might confuse some customers.

Samsung launched the BlackJack in early December with a huge marketing campaign; currently, the phone is sold exclusively for Cingular's network. Ironically, the launch coincided with RIM's launch of the on Cingular's network as well. Until December, T-Mobile had been the exclusive carrier of the Pearl.

A Cingular spokesman said the mobile operator could not comment on the lawsuit, but he said Cingular has no plans to discontinue the sale of Samsung's BlackJack.

RIM declined to comment on the lawsuit. A Samsung representative said the company has not received the complaint and declined to comment.

RIM is no stranger to lawsuits. Earlier this year, the company settled a nasty patent dispute with patent-holding firm NTP for $612.5 million over some of the core technology RIM uses to push e-mails to its devices.

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