New York, March 7: Canadian multinational company BlackBerry Limited on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against social media giant Facebook, alleging that the platform and its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram infringed on BlackBerry messaging app patents. BlackBerry claimed that the company's proprietary and patent-protected messaging product BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), was a cornerstone of modern mobile communications.
The company is now contending that its intellectual property has been infringed upon by Facebook's "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 The Verge.
In December 2016, the former mobile giant sold the rights to design, manufacture, and sell BlackBerry-branded phones to Chinese multinational TCL, leaving BlackBerry Limited in charge of the latter's software and mobile security products. BlackBerry said its patents cover cryptographic techniques to protect user privacy, the mixing of mobile gaming and mobile messaging, and now-ubiquitous user interface elements of mobile messaging products.
Some of those interface elements are as broad as notification design, the displaying of message timestamps, and the ability to tag friends and family in photos. BlackBerry is seeking "redress for the harm caused by Defendants' unlawful use of BlackBerry's intellectual property," which may include injunctive relief and monetary damages, according to the complaint.
In a statement authored by Facebook Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal, which was given to Cheddar, the social networking company responded by saying that BlackBerry is looking to tax the innovation of others. "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," the statement from Facebook said.