BlackBerry sues Facebook over alleged messaging patent infringement

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 6
BlackBerry on Tuesday launched a lawsuit against Facebook, arguing that services like WhatsApp and Instagram deliberately copy features from BlackBerry Messenger, one of the draws of BlackBerry's once-dominant smartphones.




"Defendants created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry's innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features," BlackBerry said in a California court filing seen by AppleInsider.

One specific example includes "Delivered" and "Read" receipts, now commonplace in messaging apps -- including Apple's own Messages. Another asserted patent covers a dot with a number signifying how many unread messages a person has.

"BlackBerry's suit sadly reflects the current state of its messaging business," said Facebook's deputy general counsel Paul Grewal in statement. "Having abandoned its efforts to innovate, BlackBerry is now looking to tax the innovation of others. We intend to fight."

Once a monolith in the smartphone industry, Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platform have forced BlackBerry to turn to other means to stay afloat. Estimates suggest that just 850,000 BlackBerry-branded phones were sold last year, less than what Apple sold in one week during the last quarter. The company has abandoned its own BB10 operating system in favor of Android.

Current revenue streams include things like security software for self-driving cars, but also attempts to secure patent royalties. BlackBerry has over 40,000 patents, and has already sued firms like Nokia, Qualcomm, and Blu Products. The Nokia case is still pending, but 2017's Qualcomm suit was especially lucrative, resulting in a $940 million settlement.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Desperate times call for desperate measures. 
    cornchipmike1lolliveranton zuykovjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,749member
    This is their death rattle.
    cornchiplolliverchiaStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Estimates suggest that just 850,000 BlackBerry-branded phones were sold last year
    Gee...THAT MUCH?
    magman1979jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,616member
    Hmmm....must be BlackBerry needs more cash. 
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,289member
    By end of year, Blackberry will be bankrupt, BB gets sold to IP "holdings" patent-troll company, and expect a litany of lawsuits to fire out from there.
    magman1979pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,058member
    That 'dot with a number attached', genius. If we do not protect patent holders then who will spend the billions of dollars of research to come up with these 'innovations'. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    BebeBebe Posts: 111member
    BlackBerry has to find a way to get some extra cash. Desperation, indeed. 
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 595member
    sflocal said:
    By end of year…expect a litany of lawsuits to fire out from…
    their ass. 

    There. Fixed it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    I’m surprised BB lasted this long before becoming a patent troll.

    It will be really interesting when IBM gets to this point...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,343member
    Welcome aboard the Irrelevance Express, stopping at Hubris, Denial, Desperation, Litigation, Ridicule, Mounting Loss, Haemorrhaging Headcount, Fading Hope, and terminating at Final Filing. 

    Passengers should be advised that Fading Hope Station has a short platform; directors wishing to alight there should move to the front of the train. 


    pscooter63watto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 11 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,857member
    That 'dot with a number attached', genius. If we do not protect patent holders then who will spend the billions of dollars of research to come up with these 'innovations'. 
    Yeah pretty nutso. As a software dev I'm pretty firm in my belief that copyright is the proper protection mechanism for code -- another shop shouldn't be able to steal my actual source code which is the value I generated. But ideas? Man those are the free part...any car can have "a bumper", but how you design produce and attach your car's bumper is your implementation which is what should be protected...not the idea of "a bumper".
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    farmboyfarmboy Posts: 152member
    Yeah pretty nutso. As a software dev I'm pretty firm in my belief that copyright is the proper protection mechanism for code -- another shop shouldn't be able to steal my actual source code which is the value I generated. But ideas? Man those are the free part...any car can have "a bumper", but how you design produce and attach your car's bumper is your implementation which is what should be protected...not the idea of "a bumper".
    Well, did an icon with an incrementing number indicating unread messages exist before Blackberry?  So at the point that their patent was granted, it was an inventive step. Now, is everyone simply incapable of innovating around that concept? I don't believe that idea is so essential that it's simply the only way to notify a phone owner of messages waiting. But if you get there first with an idea like they apparently did, you get to have a limited monopoly for 20 years, after which it belongs to the world. I don't see why this is a so controversial.

    Copyright vs. Patent: With software, you have to choose  what you want to protect: the specific code (copyright), or the idea (patent). Very broadly, software patents are hard to get, but software copyrights might not get you the protection you want.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,756member
    Yup, BlackBerry has transitioned into full on Troll Mode. A corporate headquarters move from Canada to Eastern Texas appears imminent.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 14
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,857member
    farmboy said:
    Yeah pretty nutso. As a software dev I'm pretty firm in my belief that copyright is the proper protection mechanism for code -- another shop shouldn't be able to steal my actual source code which is the value I generated. But ideas? Man those are the free part...any car can have "a bumper", but how you design produce and attach your car's bumper is your implementation which is what should be protected...not the idea of "a bumper".
    Well, did an icon with an incrementing number indicating unread messages exist before Blackberry?  So at the point that their patent was granted, it was an inventive step. Now, is everyone simply incapable of innovating around that concept? I don't believe that idea is so essential that it's simply the only way to notify a phone owner of messages waiting. But if you get there first with an idea like they apparently did, you get to have a limited monopoly for 20 years, after which it belongs to the world. I don't see why this is a so controversial.

    Copyright vs. Patent: With software, you have to choose  what you want to protect: the specific code (copyright), or the idea (patent). Very broadly, software patents are hard to get, but software copyrights might not get you the protection you want.
    Because patents don’t protect general ideas (“flying car”), but rather your implementation of an idea (how your anti-graviton motor works). Patents protect implementation, not idea. Ideas are the easy free part. 

    Code is already copyrighted. Which is why software parents are a poor, poor idea. Like amazon’s notorious “shopping cart” patent. They simply should not be granted. 

    Implementation (code) is protected, not idea.  
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