Blackberry sues Facebook

One of the most prominent smartphone makers, Blackberry, which exited the hardware business in 2016, is set to suing Facebook for patent infringement. According to Ars Technica’s report, Blackberry has a portfolio of broad software patents covering most basic features of modern smartphone messaging services. With this, the company demands Facebook to pay up.

During Blackberry’s lawsuit claim last Tuesday, they said, Facebook “created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality-enhancing features that made BlackBerry’s products such a critical and commercial success in the first place.” Moreover, the lawsuit argues Facebook subsidiaries Whatsapp and Instagram have infringed Blackberry patents in addition to the own messaging apps of Facebook.

The report pointed out how this kind of scenario is not surprising at all. Some technology brands that lose their lead in the marketplace turn to patent licensing as another way to make money. Prior to Blackberry, Yahoo sued Facebook in 2012 for the same reason. Nokia, on the other hand, has sued Apple in 2016 for patent infringement, where to buy liquor.

There is a good potential that Facebook will sign a patent licensing agreement with Blackberry because that is how the dispute with Yahoo turned out. A BlackBerry spokesperson sent a comment by email saying:

“As a cybersecurity and embedded software leader, BlackBerry’s view is that Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp could make great partners in our drive toward a securely connected future, and we continue to hold this door open to them. However, we have a strong claim that Facebook has infringed on our intellectual property, and after several years of dialogue, we also have an obligation to our shareholders to pursue appropriate legal remedies.”

This is how the Facebook deputy general counsel Paul Grewal responded:

“Blackberry’s suit sadly reflects the current state of its messaging business. Having abandoned its efforts to innovate, Blackberry is now looking to tax the innovation of others. We intend to fight.”