BlackBerry sues Facebook over messaging patents

Image: BlackBerry to launch touchscreen devices using its new operating system BB10
Icons on the display of a BlackBerry Z10 in London, Britain, on January 30, 2013. ANDY RAIN / EPA file

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/ Source: Reuters

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

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

"We have a strong claim that Facebook has infringed on our intellectual property, and after several years of dialog, we also have an obligation to our shareholders to pursue appropriate legal remedies," BlackBerry spokeswoman Sarah McKinney said.

Litigation over patent infringement is part of BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen's strategy for making money for the company, which has lost market share in the smartphone market it once dominated.

BlackBerry has since shifted its focus to cybersecurity software and has also invested in operating systems for self driving cars.

Last year, BlackBerry filed lawsuits against Nokia , Avaya and most notably Qualcomm, for which it was awarded nearly $1 billion.

"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," said Facebook Deputy General Counsel Paul Grewal.