Before smartphones, many people in Texas used devices from BlackBerry for text messaging. Although the company has ceded the mobile device market to its competitors, the company holds approximately 40,000 patents, and many of them concern cybersecurity software. Determined to derive income from its substantial portfolio of intellectual property, the company has filed a lawsuit against Facebook and its companies Instagram and WhatsApp.
The court filings detail the social media giant's alleged infringement of seven patents owned by BlackBerry. Facebook and its companies stand accused of using without permission technology for mobile messaging applications, in-game messaging, security, user interface features and battery updates.
A statement issued by the company explained that its representatives had spent years pursuing an agreement with Facebook about the use of its technology. Although BlackBerry maintains that it still welcomes the development of a licensing agreement, the company felt compelled to take the matter to court at this point.
Other litigation launched by BlackBerry has targeted Nokia and Qualcomm. BlackBerry claimed that Nokia's telecom systems employed BlackBerry technology without permission. The company has already settled a royalty payment disagreement with Qualcomm for $940 million.
The defense of intellectual property is important to its owners because of its potential to produce income. A business owner concerned about the infringement of a patent, copyright or trade secret might approach a business disputes attorney for advice. An attorney may recommend a strategy for business litigation meant to halt infringement and collect damages incurred by the unauthorized use. After assembling documentation that shows registered ownership of intellectual property, the attorney may confront the opposing party for private negotiations or file a lawsuit.
Source: Variety, "BlackBerry Sues Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, Alleging Patent Infringement", Todd Spangler, March 6, 2018