Remember not quite two years ago, when BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion was being sued by a patent-holding law firm many thought was acting like a "patent troll?"
My how the tables have turned. As Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper reports today, RIM is suing not a patent holding firm, but popular phone maker LG Electronics Inc.
And the suit is not for patent infringement, but trademark infringement.
Seems as though RIM takes umbrage against some of the names LG is using for their phones: Black Label, Strawberry and Black Cherry.
In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, RIM says it believes that no other wireless device manufacturer should be able to use the words Black, Berry or Pearl without its consent.
"RIM's BlackBerry wireless handheld devices and the goodwill associated with its BlackBerry marks are invaluable to RIM's continued success," RIM said in its court filing. "The aforesaid actions of LG have caused, and, unless enjoined, will continue to cause monetary damage and irreparable injury to RIM and the BlackBerry marks for which there is no adequate remedy at law," Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM said.
I'm not a trademark lawyer, but looking at RIM's stock price and balance sheet lately, the "have caused monetary damage" claim seems a bit hard to prove. Plus, BlackBerry and LG largely sell to different demographics. RIM the business types; LG the compulsive tween, teen and young adult texters you see in the mall or on busy streets.
RIM wants payback, big time.
RIM is going to court to ask for the destruction of all LG goods with Pearl, Berry or Black in their names. RIM is also seeking unspecified damages.
You might remember, as the article points out, that last December, RIM filed a suit in the same court against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. alleging that company's BlackJack wireless device was creating confusion between the two products. RIM and Samsung settled the suit.