BlackBerry (and not TCL, the producer of BlackBerry-marked handsets since 2016) has filed a lawsuit against Facebook for encroaching the patent on its messaging technology patents in a Los Angeles Federal Court, as per a Reuters report. The claim says Facebook, WhatsApp and also Instagram infringed on its technology in the area of instant messaging.
BlackBerry is suing Facebook over patents on the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which used to be a popular service. BBM enabled users to send and get messages and pictures without costs to them from service providers and was from various perspectives an early form of WhatsApp and other instant messaging services.
The claim asserts that Facebook “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” according to CNET. Some of those previously mentioned features such as tagging people in photos, notification of unread messages including the number and timestamps among others.
As reported on CNET, the lawsuit comes after years of dialogue with Facebook and in a statement, BlackBerry says “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.”
BlackBerry has had to settle litigations of infringement in the past with the likes of Nokia and NTP. Just after that it settled that, the company accused Nokia of infringement as well.
It’s not clear what they want out of this exactly but no one expects that a Judge will tell Facebook to stop using technologies BlackBerry now claims they patented.
Facebook now has over 2 billion users globally while WhatsApp boasts of about 1.5 billion users and Instagram on the other is two hundred million shy of a billion users.