RIM buys TAT

Research in Motion announced that it’s acquiring user interface experts The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) to focus on the PlayBook and BlackBerry.

In a blog post the company wrote: “We’re excited that the TAT team will be joining RIM and bringing their talent to the BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone platforms.”

TAT is known for its mobile user interface (UI) designs and has a long history of working with mobile and embedded technology, the company said.

“Its design technology is used today in a variety of industries including the consumer electronics and automotive sectors.”

TAT has also designed custom home screens for the Android mobile operating system as well as a host of scalable cross-platform widgets. The company’s QNX software is already gaining some traction as the future operating system for the BlackBerry and the linchpin of the PlayBook.

RIM’s TAT deal isn’t the only thing that has kept it in headlines this week. While it’s been busy buying, it’s also kicking up a legal storm. This week it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Kik Interactive, the Toronto-based startup behind an instant messaging technology. RIM claims that the service is too similar to its BlackBerry Messenger.