BlackBerry files case against Snap for contravening its messaging patents

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Blackberry filed a complaint accusing Snap of contravening its patented messaging technology in the Snapchat app. The complaint, 71 pages long accuses Snap of infringing six patents among which are improvements for mobile devices, advertising techniques, and UI improvements for mobile devices. It also cites Snap Maps and the display count of unread messages on a notification dot as “infringing activities.”

Blackberry formerly filed a case in March against Facebook saying that the social media platform, WhatsApp, and Instagram allegedly infringed on its messaging app patents. The Snap complaint includes two patents (‘634 and ‘713) which also appeared in the Facebook case. The ‘634 patent refers to the display count notification dot, and the ‘713 is a patent that discloses time data in messaging conversations.

In its prime, BlackBerry was known for BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) which allows users send chat messages to other users. According to BlackBerry, Snap has used its intellectual property to compete with it in the messaging space, deviating users from BlackBerry toward Snapchat and this resulted in “a substantial and undeserved windfall” for Snap.

The complaint says BlackBerry has attempted to resolve the matter without going to court:

It (BlackBerry) has been communicating with Defendant (Snap) for over a year regarding its patent portfolio, including various letters, calls and an in person meeting. Through this suit, BlackBerry seeks redress for the harm caused by Defendant’s unlawful use of BlackBerry’s intellectual property.

Blackberry has also reached settlements with Cisco, Blu Products, and Avaya Holdings over patent complaints, a strategy evocative of TiVo, which still manufactures products but makes most of its money through litigation and licensing patents.

BlackBerry senior director of communications Sarah McKinney said in an email that, “We believe there are far more opportunities for partnership than disagreement. While we continue to hold this door open, we also have a strong claim that Snap infringed on our intellectual property, harmed our shareholders, and we have an obligation to pursue appropriate legal remedies.”

BlackBerry is seeking compensation for damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and the “destruction and recall of infringing products and materials.”



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