BlackBerry sues Facebook for infringing on messaging patents


Facebook said it will fight BlackBerry’s lawsuit over messaging patents. (File photo)

BlackBerry on Tuesday said it filed a lawsuit against Facebook, and its companies WhatsApp and Instagram, for patent infringement. BlackBerry claims Facebook violated its intellectual property covering messaging utilities, including showing an unread message indicator on top of an icon.

See also: WhatsApp launches Android app for business accounts

“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,” BlackBerry spokeswoman Sarah McKinney told Reuters.

BlackBerry filed the lawsuit in US federal court in Los Angeles. BlackBerry is also claiming Facebook violated its intellectual property by showing multiple incoming messages in an inbox, selecting a photo tag, and not showing timestamps next to every message in a thread.

BlackBerry said in the complaint that Facebook and its subsidiaries “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.”

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

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