RIM Hits a Roadblock with its QNX Operating System

Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) had another rough week, unable again to catch a break.

This week’s story: the PlayBook tablet’s QNX operating system.

After recent analyst downgrades and negative profit warnings, RIM announced losses for its PlayBook on Dec. 2. Analysts responded with a flurry of cuts. CIBC dropped its goal to $25 from $55; Nomura cut its target to $18.90 from $26 and Barclays followed with a slash from $23 to $16.

RIM still has hopes that the tablet’s QNX operating system, which had been waiting to change its name to BBX, can get them out of its rut. One analyst stated the system’s importance.

Morgan Keegan analyst Tavic McCourt recently said, “QNX is important not because the tablet itself is important but because they have to attract developers to this platform because it’s the pathway to BBX and obviously BBX is crucially important to the company’s future,” McCourt continued, “This is their last shot, their only real shot to revive the business.”

While it may sound simple enough to pin their hopes on the QNX system, soon to be named BBX… not so fast.

This past week, RIM ran into a little snag with the BBX name.

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, RIM lost in the early stages of a trademark dispute with the New Mexico software provider, Basis International. A U.S. District judge granted Basis International’s temporary restraining order that bars RIM from using the BBX mark for its operating system.

According to the court, it ruled that “the BBX mark is identical to the mark which RIM is allegedly using to present its BBX product.”

RIM responded by announcing the rebranding of the OS to BlackBerry 10. The company announced via Twitter, “BlackBerry 10 is the official name of the next generation platform that will power future BlackBerry smartphones!”

Confused? In October RIM disclosed plans for its BBX platform, a combination of older BlackBerry operating system elements with the company’s new QNX software. It had hopes of the new BBX system launching the company back into the smartphone game against Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android smartphones.

This week’s setbacks were just the latest round of a very bad quarter for the company.

On Friday, the stock closed up 0.24% to $16.76.