Four trademark applications for the term “crackberry” have been rejected by the trademark board for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The reason was because the term would weaken Research in Motion Ltd’s (RIM) “Blackberry” trademark. The term “crackberry” is actually used to describe people who are “addicted” to their Blackberry’s in a jokingly fashion.
Defining Presence Marketing Group has filed four trademark applications to register the “Crackberry” trademark between December 2006 and May 2007 for dissimilar types of goods and services. Once the trademark applications were published, between July and November 2007, for the opposition period RIM opposed to all of the four applications. There opposition was based on grounds that the term “Crackberry” would cause confusion with the public and that their trademark “Blackberry” would weaken.
Defining Presence argued to the trademark trial and appeal board that the term “Crackberry” would not cause any confusion because it is only a parody of Blackberry. However, the administrative trademark judge ruled that RIM's BlackBerry devices were already widely referred to by the term "Crackberry" long before the applicants attempted to register the trademarks, thus further supporting the device-maker's claim that a likelihood of confusion would be created if the term was to be registered as a trademark.
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