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FAQ: BlackBerry is Spelt with Two Capital “B”s & More

RIM has always been a bit of a hard @$$ about other companies using their trademarks. Even their own partners are subjected to a whole slew of rules and restrictions about how to use these trademarks. I guess they are required to maintain the brand identity and protect it from dilution, but I thought I would share some of them with you. It also lays the issue to rest that BlackBerry is spelled with two capital “B”s.

Keep in mind these come directly from RIM…

  • BlackBerry is spelt with two capital “B”s
    • That means BlackBerry instead of Blackberry
  • BlackBerry can NEVER be abbreviated to BB or Berry or BBerry
    • Guilty as charged… Good thing we are not a RIM partner :)
  • Devices must be shown in full. Nothing is allowed to cover any part of the image.
    • Seriously RIM? This one is a bit ridiculous even by your standards.
  • BlackBerry should always be used as an adjective, a describing word, not a noun or a verb
    • I guess this is to protect their brand. They are also sticklers about calling it the BlackBerry Smartphone not just a BlackBerry
    • Keep in mind that BlackBerrys, BlackBerries, & BlackBerry’s are also considered unacceptable. You must call them BlackBerry smartphones… :)
  • Research In Motion is always spelt with a capital R, I, & M
  • The names of BlackBerry products cannot be translated
    • This is because RIM only owns the trademarks to the full product names in English
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Server & BlackBerry Internet Service may never be abbreviated to BES or BIS
    • Guilty as charged once again…
  • Official device colors cannot be changed in images
    • Take that Photoshop!
  • Third parties are not allowed to use BlackBerry in their top level domains
    • Makes me wonder how other websites with the term BlackBerry in their domain get away with it…

Oh, and I left my favorite two for last:

  • Use of variations, abbreviations or takeoffs
    • It is not permissible to use a variation, abbreviation or takeoff of a RIM Trademark. For example, “BlackBerries”, “BB” and “Crackberry” are not acceptable uses with reference to any products or services of RIM.
  • Harmful use
    • Your use of RIM Trademarks must not be obscene, disparaging, defamatory or libelous to RIM or any other person.

You can read more at RIM’s trademark page

13 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Wow this is actually interesting BB News. I never knew there was so many blackberry trademark rules to follow. I know, as a bbgeek and a self admitted crackBerrie user that I would never take RiM’s good trademark name in vane. Clearly rIm is going to crackdown on all of us for daring to spoil their good name. Shame on us BlackB Smart Phone Users. Shame on Us!

  2. Yeah…rim sends this out about every 6 months as a reminder. I think it’s completely ridiculous and retarded. I am always sending email to rim employees about things Blackberry related such as devices and bis and bes. Considering all of the blackberrys and crackberrys that are out there, you would think that rim would have better things to do. We deal with these bb’s and berrys all day long. Give us a break. Wonder how pissed rim would be if I posted screenshots of their employees using terms such as bis, bes, bb, bb’s, berry, Blackberry, etc? Probably enough to call a mandatory Monday meeting.
    These below were compiled just by a quick search and the links here on berryreview, so rim’s lawyers have a nice hefty task in front of them if they actually want to pursue any of this.
    As soon as rimstarts going after folks for this, I can see a good amount of domains hosted in other countries.

  3. and on a side note, I wonder if rim even has an attorney firm anymore. I have been waiting since the ptb was leaked and people are selling themes created with it. Remember when the last PTB was leaked out, they actually shut down some websites and sued them because they were selling themes made with the BETA PTB.
    RIM…..oh rimmmmmm…..….where are you???

  4. You’d be surprised . . . most companies do actually have that “legaleeze” in there that is very similar to this.

    Here’s a good example with Adobe and Photoshop:

    When it comes to protecting trademarks, its not enough to have them trademarked, but you have to show that you’re actually PROTECTING your trademark, or else you risk losing it to the rest of the world, and losing your licensing and potential brand recognition.

    Think of Kleenex. How many people say they want a kleenex to blow their nose? When in actually, they should be saying “a kleenex brand tissue”.

    History is filled with companies who have “lost the rights” to their trademark because it became SO popular, it became synonymous with the product itself.

    It’s a reason why Google fights profusely against people who say they will “google” something, when they mean they are searching for it . . and have fought to keep that term from being included in the dictionary, etc.

    So with the big disclaimers like that, its their way of proving to courts in the future that they have done their due dilligence to try and protect their brand.

  5. I forgot to mention, the term is Genericized Trademark.

    More reading here:

  6. I guess by their rules is a violation and should be
    Oh, look at any of your email headers. They all go through servers with names like and etc.
    Well, I guess they don’t have to protect their trademarks and prohibited uses from themselves do they?
    How come I am sitting hear looking at 4 devices, all of which say just BlackBerry on the front, not BlackBerry Smartphone?
    If BlackBerry is the appropriate case, was does the operating system not autocorrect to that?
    One more is it Smartphone, or SmartPhone, or smartphone? Or perhaps smartPhone?

    Ok, it is friday night, where’s my Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum with Coca-Cola? I suspect saying “Cap’n and Coke” probably violates a couple trademarks…

  7. oh crap, I forgot, is “spelt” a word? 😉

  8. Thanksb for the chuckles!

  9. I am sure BlackBerry is not spelt with two capital Bs, even though it must be spelled that way!


  10. I hardly use the word “smartphone”. I use “BlackBerry Devices” more often than not. Looking at their Limited Warranty information, they also use “BlackBerry Handheld”

  11. Good thing to know!
    Luckily to know all this RIM Crap dammit what are you puffing guys?)
    I NOW JUST WON’T Create A BB Help area to my forum

    Enough is Enough with all these Trademark and $***T crap!

    In just few years we will not even be able to say the word window or windows because of trademark Issues

  12. I really don’t think we should be mocking RIM for this. These rules are common place in copyright and brand protection procedures, and RIM has in fact been very reasonable towards the many Web sites that use the “BlackBerry” name, unlike at least two companies that immediately spring to my mind who act like total jerks about it.

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