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Blackberry Communications Patents The Courts

BlackBerry Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram (reuters.com) 87

BlackBerry on Tuesday filed patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram in Los Angeles Federal court. In a statement, BlackBerry said: We have a lot of respect for Facebook and the value they've placed on messaging capabilities, some of which were invented by BlackBerry. 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. 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.
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BlackBerry Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram

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  • translated (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @02:26PM (#56217831) Journal

    Since Blackberry hasn't created anything new or compelling in15 years we feel obligated to try and make some cash off our old crap, that we ripped off from ICQ/AOL/IRC and other software implementations that existed long before we came into being...

    • Re:translated (Score:4, Informative)

      by maxrate ( 886773 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @02:42PM (#56217965)
      Please check my facts, but RIM (BlackBerry) was sued/settled for something like 500 million by NTP in the USA for pretty lame reasons back in RIM's heyday. The legal system set the stage for this, I think RIM might very well be entitled to their claims and lawsuit against Facebook/etc. When RIM was doing great, these nimrods (NTP) came out of the woodwork and cashed in. RIM is doing poorly, it's time for them to make a few 'easy' bucks too it seems. Don't blame the player, blame the game.
      • by Revek ( 133289 )

        The 'game isn't being a dick' The player is.

    • If they are going to keep software patents, then there should be some limitation on them where there is a period of time to report that they are illegally using their patent. Most of the abuse seems to come from, a patent that has been mostly ignored until someone else goes with it, becomes immensely popular and nearly non-removable feature. Then Sue them for a heck of a lot of money, because the idea has the potential. While you lacked the rest of the effort needed for it.

    • BlackBerry has been a communications and software company since day one. Their messaging system BlackBerry Messenger set the bar for secure enterprise mobile communication. You can't see security so it isn't sexy like filters or emojis but if you don't have it eventually you'll wish you had. BlackBerry has actually been working their ass off making themselves and indispensable security partner in a whole host of industries. But sure since they don't make phones anymore they don't deserve to sue somebody fo
      • by Archfeld ( 6757 )

        Actually you are correct, Blackberry as a mobile device or messenger is a dead or dying thing but QNX is another thing entirely and quite active and very competitive. It is just not a thing that the end-users see much of, being behind the scene so to speak.

        https://blackberry.qnx.com/en [qnx.com]

        I remember when a blackberry device was the thing every executive had to have and quite successful, but iPhones and various other smart phones have marketed their way past and supplanted BB devices almost totally.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        Then the government of India asked them for the gold keys to the kingdom and they instantly caved, forever destroying their own reputation.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        contrary to public belief that some people have, there was nothing more "inherently secure" about blackberrys system vs. just using ssl secured mail servers.

        HOWEVER.. if you we're using blackberrys services in their heyday then the LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT in any shithole country that you had signed up for service in had access to the email server running the bb software.

        the whole idea/why they got popular for a short time was basically just hacking push messaging to work through the gsm network, at about the

      • WOW! The misinformation and inaccurate responses show just how ignorant the public is to what is really going on. Everyone likes to point to the India incident as proof BlackBerry caved and NOBODY seems to realize they were the ONLY company that didn't cave. They fought tooth and nail to keep user data secure while every other company happily handed their keys over. It was only after India said they would kick BlackBerry completely out of one of the LARGEST markets in the world that they relented. And even
    • If you check Blackberry they are doing ok on financials. Looks like they have a Gross Profit of >0.5B however down a 1B from 2015.
      The thing about these companies is that they have had their wave and if they can survive the valley they may find their next wave or even a niche where they can exist at a lower level. Their shares are trading pretty solidly still so I am guessing they are doing well somewhere (not maybe at the consumer level.)

      With the patents they don't need to do anything for 15 years
      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        "hey pay me 1 billion for patent license." and they said "our offer is 1Mil" you might need someone who could push them closer to your figure.

        $1 Mil for a patent license is some crazy low figure. $100 Mil at least, or bust. It costs more than $1 Million just for the patent research and registration costs to get the patent in force in the first place.

        • I think most patents cost about 25k to 50k. I have just worked on one (totally different field and not related to software) but the cost of that will be about 30k including the cost of research we have done the patent and the first filing so far. I think it can be done cheaper.

          However the numbers were not actual just to represent a difference of value from two different parties.
          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            I think most patents cost about 25k to 50k. I have just worked on ....

            I'm sure there's some costs being missed here --- being able to take some one-off thing you know is Invention and then get a patent on it may be feasible for 50K,
            But most quality patentable things aren't going to come up by accident -- they require a lot of time and labor by experts such as engineers who are highly compensated then with 50K you'd be ignoring all that labor that was required to come up with an invention and Then to

            • It seems that you are trying to ascribe the cost of the invention to the patent. Most inventions are made because of seeing a value of the invention in the market or as part of creating a solution that has a market value. Ascribing this to the cost of the patent is misleading, are we also going to put in the cost of the lawyer going to law school? It is not really related. The patent is there to protect the invention but the invention is made prior to the patent and if you make the invention with the inten
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Blackberry, 2018's SCO! If you can't innovate, litigate!

    • > Blackberry, 2018's SCO! If you can't innovate, litigate!

      Speaking of SCO . . .

      TODAY is the 15th anniversary of the SCO vs IBM lawsuit.

      So this farce is now entering it's sixteenth year.
  • hired more technical people rather than lawyers they might be able to keep their network up.

    Just my 2 cents ;)
    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @02:53PM (#56218059)
      Blackberry had to get rid of their technical people to pay for the infringement lawsuit [wikipedia.org] they eventually lost over NTP's nonsensical "email over cellular" patent. Crucially, that happened just as the industry was transitioning from phones with enhanced features, to smartphones (phones which could run any generic app). The timing of the lawsuit pretty much took the wind out of Blackberry's R&D sails 1-2 years before Apple introduced the iPhone.

      NTP's patents were eventually overturned [patentspostgrant.com]. But that didn't help Blackberry because they'd already entered a contract to settle the patent dispute. i.e. Their payment was to stop the lawsuit, not based on the merits of the patent. There was no way for them to get the money back.

      In other words, Blackberry has been reduced to a patent lawsuit-flinging troll because they themselves were the victim of such a troll. Pity them, don't ridicule them. It could just as easily have been you if you'd been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • 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.

    In who's drive?

    I wouldn't particularly care if Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were all litigated out of existance, but that is a bit rich.

    • 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.

      In who's drive?

      I wouldn't particularly care if Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were all litigated out of existance, but that is a bit rich.

      It's a good point. Add the twit er and you have a bunch of companies that wrote something and have largely become stagnant behemoths. It's about time for some or all of them to fall in order to make way for something better.

  • Those who can, do... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @02:41PM (#56217963) Journal

    ... and those who can't, sue.

    Blackberry (and before they called themselves that, Research in Motion) had a chance to absolutely own both smartphones and internet messaging, but they decided to play the proprietary licensing game and bleed everyone for every dime they could. Now they are a joke of a company that likely has more lawyers on staff than engineers.

    The shareholders should just vote to liquidate and let them sit in the history books where they belong.

  • It's the final fart of a fresh corpse.
    • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

      I prefer something slightly more melodious. Like the long, drawn-out death rattle of a man suffering from terminal flatulence.

      -- David Lister, Red Dwarf

  • We have a lot of respect for Facebook and the value they've placed on messaging capabilities, some of which were invented by BlackBerry.

    Which capabilities? Using a mobile's phone number as user ID? I agree it was innovative, but I don't think you can patent it.

    • by fred6666 ( 4718031 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2018 @03:39PM (#56218373)

      Which capabilities? Using a mobile's phone number as user ID? I agree it was innovative, but I don't think you can patent it.

      I strongly disagree it was innovative. It was the worst idea of the messaging world, a huge step backward.
      I don't want to contact a phone number. I want to contact a person. I don't care if that person doesn't have a phone. I don't care that person switched to another SIM card. I don't care that person moved to another country. The ID shouldn't change as long as that person is the same. And that ID shouldn't belong to a telco.
      Also, why would I want to use my phone to write messages when I have a real keyboard on my PC? I'll use my phone only when I am far from my PC.

      Whatsapp is so dumb that you can't even have two phones sharing the same whatsapp account. Connecting on whatsapp on a new phone will disconnect the old one.

  • Flurry of lawsuits = last gasp, dying company.
  • ...without knowing for what the patent was.
    But it's awfully predictable how a company that has sold it's brand for 3rd party generic smartphone manufacturing and is being relegated to a part of smartphone history would now resort to becoming a patent troll business, what with it's history:

    - of litigations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    - of giving away the keys to the kingdom: https://www.theverge.com/2016/... [theverge.com]
    - writting a tone deaf blog post about it: http://blogs.blackberry.com/20... [blackberry.com]
    - and then daring to

  • ... thing to do.

    Capitalism trumps democracy and republics.

    It's still government by the We The People, but We The People are not affiliated with political parties or the voting system.

    No, we're affiliated with Capitalism through our shareholder relationship.

    We vote by proxy.

    Republicans, Democrats, Independents, alike, are loyal to the Capitalist party, first.

    You and I are the source of any objections we have to that structure.

  • Sounds like Blackberry is the new SCO.

  • Blackberry have had BBM as a messenger longer than anyone in the mobile phone business. I know it's easy to make uneducated snap judgements, but in this case it may be wise to wait and see what the findings are before we jump to conclusions on this lawsuit. Since people are piling in Blackberry already without even knowing what patents are in question:

    http://variety.com/2018/digita... [variety.com]

    Patents:

    U.S. Patent Nos. 7,372,961; 8,279,173; 8,209,634; 8,301,713; 8,429,236; 8,677,250; and 9,349,120

    Titles I can find:

    S

    • by vovin ( 12759 )

      Well https://patents.google.com/pat... [google.com] (May 2007) is either
          - prior art as facebook enabled tagging users in photos in Dec 2005. [https://patents.google.com/patent/US7945653B2/en]
      or
          - Not applicable (The patent is about Facebook for BlackBerry® smartphones).

      That's a set of cajones for ya.

  • Blackberry Officially Announces Death with Troll Lawsuit.

    I am highly doubtful their claim will have anything substantial that wasn't already existent in ICQ back in 1996.

  • The U.S. patent system really needs to be replaced. These exemplify the need for a massive overhaul.

    ***

    Patent 8,209,634 covers the concept of using icons with numeric badges to signal the arrival of new messages.
    [Haven't email clients been essentially doing this since the 90's?]

    Patent 8,279,173 covers the concept of tagging people in photos using an auto-completing search box.
    [Okay, so now we are claiming ownership of auto-complete. Gee, once again I will point to email clients. They've auto-completed ente

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