RIM trademarks "SurfBook", possible new tablet or notebook - RIM

Research In Motion (RIM) has applied for a trademark of the name “SurfBook” in Canada, giving rise to speculation that it is working on another tablet or perhaps even a notebook.

The application with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), numbered 1491613, was filed on August 9, then formalised on August 19, but it has only recently come to light, well and truly feeding the rumour mills once again.

Back in May of this year news of a BlackBerry OS iPad rival called the BlackPad leaked out. In July it came to light that RIM had bought the BlackPad.com domain, confirming its intention to release the new tablet. Further details confirmed the name, a November release date, the BlackBerry 6 OS, and a similar sized screen to the iPad, all for around the $500 mark.

Now, however, that name may be in doubt at least for RIM's home turf and base of operations, Canada.

The “SurfBook” name appears only to be registered in Canada at this time, which means that RIM may be planning to launch its new tablet under a different name in the region.

This would seem a bizarre and confusing move but there's the chance it was unable to secure the BlackPad name in Canada.

With a November release date for the BlackPad and the “SurfBook” trademark not yet approved, it seems more likely that this move is aimed at a different product altogether. The shift from “Pad” to “Book” hints at the possibility of a notebook, but the late application also suggests we probably won't be seeing it until next year at the earliest.