BlackBerry weaponizes present messaging patents, sues Facebook

BlackBerry, a once-great smartphone builder that exited a hardware business in 2016, is suing Facebook for obvious infringement. BlackBerry owns a portfolio of extended program patents that cover some of a many simple facilities of complicated smartphone messaging services—and a association says it wants Facebook to compensate up.

Facebook “created mobile messaging applications that coopt BlackBerry’s innovations, regulating a series of a innovative security, user interface, and functionality-enhancing features that done BlackBerry’s products such a vicious and commercial success in a initial place,” BlackBerry’s Tuesday lawsuit claims. The lawsuit argues that Facebook subsidiaries Instagram and Whatsapp transgress BlackBerry’s patents in further to Facebook’s possess messaging apps.

It’s not surprising for record companies that remove their lead in a marketplace to spin to obvious chartering as an choice approach to make money. Yahoo sued Facebook for obvious transgression in 2012, for example, while Nokia sued Apple for obvious transgression in 2016.

BlackBerry began a possess debate of obvious lawsuit in 2016, suing a little-known Android phone builder BLU and a Internet telephony association Avaya. BLU agreed to compensate up final year, and BlackBerry is now relocating on to Facebook—potentially a many some-more remunerative target.

BlackBerry is reporting 7 program patents opposite Facebook, and they’re remarkably broad:

  • Patent 7,372,961 covers a judgment of generating a cryptographic pivotal by selecting a pseudorandom series and afterwards checking if it is “less than sequence q before to shortening mod q.” If it is, a pivotal is used. If not, another pivotal is selected during pointless and a routine repeats.
  • Patent 8,209,634 covers a judgment of regulating icons with numeric badges to vigilance a attainment of new messages.
  • Patent 8,279,173 covers a judgment of tagging people in photos regulating an auto-completing hunt box.
  • Patent 8,301,713 covers a judgment of imprinting a poignant peace in a content summary review by inserting a timestamp reflecting a time of a subsequent message.
  • Patent 8,429,236 covers a judgment of changing how a mobile device sends messages depending on either they’re being actively review by a recipient’s device. For example, if updates aren’t being review in genuine time, afterwards a promulgation device might be means to preserve energy by promulgation messages in batches rather than one during a time.
  • Patent 8,677,250 covers a judgment of restraining a messaging use and a diversion focus together so that a user personification a diversion can send messages to contacts on a messaging app that includes updates on a player’s swell in a game.
  • Patent 9,349,120 covers a judgment of muting a summary thread.

In short, BlackBerry claims to possess some of a many common facilities of complicated mobile messaging apps, either they’re done by Facebook, Apple, Google, or anyone else. BlackBerry has asked a justice to request Facebook from infringing these patents, that could need Facebook to dramatically renovate these apps or even close them down altogether.

But it’s doubtful things will get that far. In new years, a courts have been relatively reluctant to extend injunctions in cases like this, preferring instead to endowment money indemnification that typically breeze adult being reduction remunerative to a plaintiff. Facebook might also try to get some of these patents thrown out as invalid—the courts have shown skepticism about a legality of some program patents in new years.

We can also design Facebook to demeanour for patents it can use to countersue BlackBerry, that has a smaller business than it did a few years ago though still sells a poignant volume of program and services that could be infringing Facebook patents.

And ultimately, there’s a good possibility that Facebook will pointer a obvious chartering agreement with BlackBerry—that’s how Facebook’s brawl with Yahoo turned out, after all.

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