BlackBerry Limited has filed a case against Facebook and its subsidiaries Whatsapp and Instagram claiming that the social networking website and its apps infringe upon BlackBerry’s messaging app patents. Also, the lawsuit was filed by BlackBerry Limited, the software company and not TCL, the BlackBerry smartphone manufacturer.
As per a CNET report, BlackBerry had been in talks with Facebook for several years regarding the patents infringement. The company 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.”
The software company’s lawsuit is based upon the patents it holds over the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). As per the lawsuit, 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." These features include notifications displaying the number of unread messages, tagging friends and family in photographs, cryptographic techniques to protect user privacy, the display of timestamps in messages and more.
Facebook's deputy general counsel, Paul Grewal, has responded saying, “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."
BlackBerry sold its smartphone manufacturing and designing rights to TCL in December 2016. The company now focuses over software, mobile security products, IoT products and autonomous vehicles. The lawsuit was first reported by Reuters.