Feeds

Can BlackBerry stop RedBerry in China?

Market awaits RIM's move

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

If Orange launched a push email service called OrangeBerry in the UK, BlackBerry's maker could shut it down. But China Unicom is launching RedBerry this month, and there may be little Research In Motion (RIM) can do.

"China Unicom's RedBerry brand not only incorporates people's familiarity with the BlackBerry brand name, but it also fully embodies the symbolic meanings of China Unicom's new red logo," the company said. It acknowledged that RIM's BlackBerry is the most successful application of push email technology.

Peter Bullock, a partner with the Hong Kong office of Pinsent Masons and a specialist in intellectual property matters, said the Canadian company's options are limited.

To have an obvious redress under Chinese trademark laws, Bullock explained that RIM would have to show that Chinese consumers are being duped into believing that the RedBerry is associated with RIM's BlackBerry.

"Onerous hurdles to RIM's entry to the Chinese market mean their notoriety is very low at present, which again hinders trademark enforcement," he said.

In the absence of trademark infringement, RIM would need to fall back on the less potent Anti-Unfair Competition Law. "This provides a catch-all to allow a measure of redress in the event of unfair marketing, sales or promotion. Unfortunately, it is a law distinctly lacking in teeth."

It is not known if RIM wants to attempt to block sales of the RedBerry device or simply compete with it on the market. It plans to start selling its BlackBerry service in China through China Mobile (Hong Kong), the world's larges mobile phone operator by the end of May.

David Wolf makes an interesting point on The China Stock Blog about keyboards. The BlackBerry accommodates a full QWERTY keyboard, but with an enormous range of characters in Chinese scripts, pen-based input devices have dominated the Chinese PDA market to date. A QWERTY keyboard can be used for Chinese character input – but that becomes much more difficult when limited to using only one's thumbs.

See: The China Stock Blog

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.