BlackBerry opposing Apple's WebKit trademark filing

BlackBerry maker RIM is opposing Apple's trademark filing for WebKit, the open source browser rendering engine they developer based on Linux Konquerer/KHTML. WebKit has become the most popular browser engine in Mobile, powering iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad Safari, as well as BlackBerry's Torch Mobile, Google's Android, Palm's webOS, and other browsers -- as well as Apple Safari and Google Chrome on PCs. So popular, in fact, that RIM couldn't wait to advertise they'd finally joined the modern internet by getting a WebKit browser.

Could that be part of the reason for the opposition, fears that Apple would try to restrict use of the trademark? Even doesn't seem to know for sure.

Now in what appears to be an odd move (as far as timing is concerned), RIM filed their opposition to the application on August 15th 2011, with an extension granted 3 days later that allows them to officially submit their Statement of Opposition by November 22nd of this year. This claim can be found on the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website. Right now we can only speculate as to why this is happening now. Torch Mobile was one of many developers that were widely known to further develop WebKit. Remember what happened in August of 2009? Well, RIM acquired Torch Mobile, which then enabled them to include a WebKit-based browser on their BlackBerry devices. It will be quite interesting to see what kind of opposition RIM can offer- hopefully it will carry a little more weight than the recorded “Used in CANADA since at least as early as November 2003.” We’ll be sure to report more on this claim as it develops.



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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

BlackBerry opposing Apple's WebKit trademark filing


Don't worry, you can move on with your life regardless, right? Or do you transcend beyond the freak you describe?

For open source software that they develop, yes...just like Richard Stallman has (or had?) a trademark for emacs and Bill Joy for vi...there's no incompatibility of any kind between open source and trademarking...hell, there's no incompatibility between open source and any other "intellectual property" lawyering stuff...copyleft is using copyright to do the right thing, after all.