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BlackBerry sues Facebook in patent fight

(Image credit: Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pieter Beens)

BlackBerry has decided to sue Facebook alleging that the social network's messaging services infringe on its own patents in the space. 

The mobile phone maker also highlighted the fact that the social network as well as its other companies, Instagram and WhatsApp, are “relative latecomers to the mobile messaging world” and that it pioneered the technology that makes sending messages from a smartphone possible. 

BlackBerry explained why it is suing Facebook in a press release, saying: 

“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.” 

Though no specific dollar figure was given, the company is seeking injunctive relief and damages accounting for lost profits. 

Facebook's general counsel Paul Grewal responded to the suit by claiming that BlackBerry is now trying to tax other companies for their innovations now that its messaging business has fallen behind its competition. 

According to the suit, the social network's messaging applications make use of the company's security, user interface and functionality enhancing features that attributed to BlackBerry's own past successes.  BlackBerry also claims that the way in which Facebook now allows for cross-platform notifications as well as letting Instagram users share their Stories directly on its social network are both based off of technology which it holds the patents for. 

This is not the first time in recent years that the company has sued a competitor over patent infringement and in launched a similar case against Nokia in February 2017. 

Image Credit: Pieter Beens / Shutterstock  

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.