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Tuesday, March 06, 2018
BlackBerry Sues Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram Over Patent Infringement

BlackBerry Ltd on Tuesday filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram apps, alleging that they copied technology and features from BlackBerry Messenger.

Apps like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp use some messaging capabilities that were originally designed by BlackBerry, according to Blackberry.

"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 federal court.

"Protecting shareholder assets and intellectual property is the job of every CEO," BlackBerry spokeswoman Sarah McKinney said in an email. However, she noted that litigation was "not central to BlackBerry's strategy."

Facebook Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal said in a statement that the company intended to fight the lawsuit.

BlackBerry's proprietary messaging service BBM helped draw millions to its phones in the mid-2000s when the company was a smartphone leader.

Teh Canadian company is holding a trove of more than 40,000 global patents on technology including operating systems, networking infrastructure, acoustics, messaging, automotive subsystems, cybersecurity and wireless communications.

Under Chief Executive Officer John Chen, BlackBerry has stopped making its own phones and pivoted to focus on security-focused software. License payments from its old wireless patents still bring in revenue though.

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