BlackBerry Sues Facebook Over Patent Infringement

BlackBerry has sued Facebook, alongside its subsidiaries, WhatsApp and Instagram for an alleged infringement on its messaging patents.

In the lawsuit filed in California, BlackBerry claimed the social media companies developed messaging applications that “co-opted” its “innovations”. It said the infringement include its patented features on security, user interface, and battery life.

“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,” a spokesperson for BlackBerry said in a statement.

However, Paul Grewal, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, dismissed the suit, describing it as a “desperate move from a fading company”.

“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,” he said in a statement.

BlackBerry had introduced messaging applications in the mid-2000s. The innovation aided the success of its smartphones and BlackBerry Messenger product in the global mobile phone industry.

The patents the company cited in the lawsuit describe basic elements of today’s messaging services. One patent deals with notifications for the total number of unread messages, while others address photo tagging and messaging time stamps.

It was speculated that BlackBerry is likely looking for monetary damages and partnership.

“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. We continue to hold this door open to them,” the spokesperson added.

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