Once upon a time, BlackBerry was a pioneer in hardware and instant messaging verticals. But in 2016, BlackBerry decided to put an end to their hardware effort after bearing back-to-back losses. Then WhatsApp happened. And the advent of Facebook-owned popular instant messenger slowly turned the whole game into a battle for survival for BBM. And eventually, BBM suffered the same fate as their hardware business.
Now, fast forwarding to March of 2018, the same old BlackBerry has managed to drag Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to court. And for what? Patent infringement. According to BlackBerry, Facebook is using their IP in apps like WhatsApp and Instagram. BlackBerry has accused Facebook of co-opting several of their patents citing features like messaging security and notifications for their own use.
In an attempt to build a lawsuit against Facebook, BlackBerry cited seven software patents including the way encryption key is generated. In addition, several other patents revolve around the concept of muted conversations, messaging notifications, tagging individuals in photos with the help of an autocomplete search box, messaging timestamps and more.
This is what BlackBerry had to say in their statement: “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.”
Responding to that, Facebook VP and deputy general counsel of litigation Paul Grewal 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.”