Oh, snap. BlackBerry and Facebook have apparently been in a bit of a tussle over the years in regards to a patent Facebook is supposedly infringing on. That tussle seemingly evolved into a full-blown fight today.
BlackBerry has sued Facebook over a messaging-related patent the company is accused of infringing. Details are scant right now, but it’s likely a patent BlackBerry has been holding onto since the days of BBM. BlackBerry offers a rough overview:
“Defendants created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features.”
The lawsuit seemingly includes not just Facebook Messenger, but also WhatsApp and Instagram.
Here’s how Facebook put it:
“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.”
Yikes. The funny thing is that Facebook isn’t wrong, and at the same time they aren’t totally right. We know BlackBerry could innovate if they really wanted, but they just don’t. And maybe that’s not a bad thing.
It’s not profitable for them to compete in the smartphone hardware market like they used to, and the company seems to be headed back in the right direction with their new software services approach. And even if we’re talking about the innovations of BBM in a contemporary sense, there’s no denying BBM started the messaging revolution that originally vaunted BlackBerry into popularity.
A qualifying statement, that was not. No matter what BlackBerry’s history is, they have seen competitors whisk by them with great advancements in the messaging world, and if they’re using a crucial patent to go after what we can consider commonplace technology in 2018 then Facebook is totally justified in their aggressive posture. We’ll reserve judgment either way until more facts surface.