BlackBerry sues Facebook over messaging patents

BlackBerry sues Facebook over messaging patents
© Getty

BlackBerry sued Facebook and two of its subsidiaries, Whatsapp and Instagram, over patent infringement claims on Tuesday.

The mobile phone company is accusing Facebook of developing applications that use proprietary BlackBerry messaging technology. BlackBerry says those actions affected its business, “diverting consumers away from BlackBerry’s products and services” and toward Facebook, according to its 117-page complaint filed to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.


“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 spokeswoman Sarah McKinney said in a statement.

“However, we have a strong claim that Facebook has infringed on our intellectual property, and after several years of dialogue, we also have an obligation to our shareholders to pursue appropriate legal remedies.”

Facebook pushed back in a statement, accusing BlackBerry of filing lawsuits to unfairly profit of other companies' ideas.

“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,” said Paul Grewal, Facebook’s deputy general counsel.

BlackBerry similarly sued Nokia in Feb. 2017 for patent infringement of 4G technologies and has made similar complaints against other companies, including phonemaker Blu and chipmaker Qualcomm.

In 2017, BlackBerry reached $940 million settlement payout with Qualcomm and reached a private settlement Blu.

BlackBerry’s case against Nokia is still pending in a federal court in Delaware.

This story was updated at 4:06 p.m.