View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you

Facebook sued by BlackBerry over app patent

As the use of WhatsApp and Facebook messenger services increase, BlackBerry messengers fails to flourish and now the company targets Facebook over patent.

By April Slattery

BlackBerry has filed a lawsuit against Facebook regarding an alleged violation of its patent rights over BlackBerry Messenger.

BlackBerry has claimed that Facebook stole features and technology such as methods to notify users of new messages, as well as tagging people in photos from the messenger. The violation is said to have occurred over both WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram applications.

“Defendants created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features,” Canada-based BlackBerry said in a filing with a Los Angeles federal court. “Protecting shareholder assets and intellectual property is the job of every CEO,” BlackBerry spokeswoman Sarah McKinney said in an email. However, she noted that litigation was “not central to BlackBerry’s strategy.”

Facebook sued by BlackBerry over app patent

BlackBerry Messenger used to be the port of call for users, now WhatsApp has taken over.

BlackBerry Messenger, known commonly as BBM, was once the most popular app on mobile devices until the likes of Apple and Samsung began to dominate the market ousting out the devices and application. Now WhatsApp is among the favoured messaging services, operating on Android and iOS devices. Additionally, BlackBerry has inevitably lost its share in the smartphone market, after rivals have innovated quicker and stole the spotlight.

According to the BBC Paul Grewal, deputy general counsel of Facebook, said “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.

Although the claim could ring true regarding reuse of the features, in today’s technology the ‘features’ are standard practice for such apps and may not been seen as a unique feature to one messaging service. Therefore, the law suit may be harder to fight than BlackBerry first thought.

BlackBerry develops driverless car cybersecurity
IoT cars on the agenda for Qualcomm, BlackBerry
WhatsApp business app lands in UK

The law suit against Facebook is not the first BlackBerry has filed. In February last year, the company sued rivals Nokia over patent infringement on its 3G and 4G wireless communications technology. This case is still pending.

Content from our partners
Unlocking growth through hybrid cloud: 5 key takeaways
How businesses can safeguard themselves on the cyber frontline
How hackers’ tactics are evolving in an increasingly complex landscape

The smartphone company is also trying to persuade other companies to pay licensing royalties to use its collection of over 40,000 global patents on technology. These include various operating systems, networking infrastructure, messaging and wireless communications. BlackBerry also plans to sell its cyber security software for self-driving cars.

Facebook has said it will fight the law suit against BlackBerry.

Topics in this article : , ,
Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU