BlackBerry is Making It Rain (Lawsuits)

Posted on March 7, 2018

Are we seeing the death throes of BlackBerry?

BlackBerry has sued Facebook over their messaging apps this week, in a move that leads me to believe that the former business phone powerhouse has entered into another set of death throes and is now lashing out around itself instead of adapting or shuttering its doors with grace.

It’s a known fact that IP suits are [messy] [for] [everyone] [involved] and it’s looking like this is the new BlackBerry. Instead of releasing a new phone each quarter, they announce a new lawsuit against someone else in the tech space.

“Defendants created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features,” BlackBerry said in a filing with a Los Angeles court.

Let’s run through BlackBerry’s recent suits. It also sued Nokia last year, targeting 3G and 4G networking tech. That case is still pending. Also in 2017, it reached a settlement with Qualcomm to the tune of almost $1 billion over royalty payments. Additionally, in late 2017, BlackBerry revealed a confidential settlement with Blu Products Inc, a low-cost phone hardware manufacturer.

Is BlackBerry doubling down on its pivot from a smartphone company to an IP lawsuit firm? In a world where it has fallen to Android and iPhone, the company is having to file suit after suit to keep itself above water. It’s almost sad, as I look back on the BBMessenger days with fondness.