BlackBerry Sues Facebook for Patent Infringement

On Tuesday, BlackBerry said that the company is suing Facebook for violations of patent infringement, claiming that many of the features of the messaging services of Facebook infringe on the patents of BlackBerry.

In a release, BlackBerry stated: “[W]e 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.”

The company says that Facebook and its wholly owned services — WhatsApp and Instagram, which are also identified as defendants in the said suit — are considered to be “relative latecomers to the mobile messaging world.”

Blackberry is soliciting injunctive relief and damages accounting for its lost profits. No specific figure was disclosed.

In a statement, Paul Grewal, the general counsel of Facebook, stated: “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.”

BlackBerry stated: “We have a lot of respect for Facebook and the value they’ve placed on messaging capabilities, some of which were invented by BlackBerry. 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.”

According to the suit, the social media giant “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.”

Blackberry is claiming that the moves of Facebook to integrate its services — for example, to enable cross-platform notifications and allow users of Instagram to directly share Stories to Facebook — are based on the patented technology of Blackberry.

The company also cited a report from CNBC that Facebook would move WhatsApp off the cloud services of IBM and into its own data centres.

In February 2017, BlackBerry also sued Nokia by also claiming patent infringement.