BlackBerry sues Facebook, claims theft of intellectual property

  • BlackBerry filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles federal court today, accusing Facebook of stealing its intellectual property.
  • The lawsuit hasn’t hit the internet yet, but we can speculate that it has something to do with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).
  • WhatsApp and Instagram, both owned by Facebook, are also implicated in the suit.


Today, in a Los Angeles Federal Court, BlackBerry, Ltd. filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. for infringing a patent on its messaging technology. The lawsuit calls out Facebook Messenger as well as Facebook-owned properties like WhatsApp and Instagram.

According to the lawsuit, BlackBerry has attempted “several years” of dialog with Facebook over the alleged violation of BlackBerry patents. Presumably, those dialogs haven’t been fruitful, and BlackBerry sees no other choice but to take Facebook to court.

Though the specifics of the lawsuit are unavailable, it’s highly likely that the intellectual property patent(s) BlackBerry is suing over relate to its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service. Using BBM, BlackBerry users could send messages to each other without using traditional SMS or MMS protocols, a favorite feature in the time before unlimited texting became a given with pretty much any mobile service plan. BBM was eventually ported to Android.

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However, if BlackBerry is suing Facebook specifically over technology present in BBM, shouldn’t it also be suing Google, Apple, and the many other companies that have similar messaging apps? Or is there something specific about Facebook’s properties that brought on this lawsuit?

Unfortunately, until the full lawsuit transcript goes online, we can only speculate what BlackBerry is after.

As of now, Facebook has made no public comment on the lawsuit. We’ll update this post as soon as any new information surfaces.

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