Earlier this month, BlackBerry filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the tech company Avaya. It was their first lawsuit that they filed in relation to their patent library. Now, just a few weeks removed from that first foray into the world of intellectual property lawsuits, BlackBerry has filed another lawsuit. This time, it is against a company called Blu Products. Blu sells unlocked cellphones at reasonable prices, and BlackBerry alleges that as such, Blue has infringed upon 15 of the companies roughly 44,000 patents.
This could be a dramatic shift in BlackBerry’s approach to its business. It isn’t that they aren’t trying to make money off of their cellular products and processors — but they may be trying to leverage their vast patent library into a money-making part of the company.
BlackBerry alleges that Blu made “substantial revenue” as a result of selling “2G, 3G and LTE products that use BlackBerry technology” without BlackBerry’s approval. BlackBerry also says that they reached out to Blu and tried to come to terms on a deal that would allow Blue to use BlackBerry’s licensed products, but Blu never responded. BlackBerry’s patent infringement lawsuit was their next step after Blu didn’t respond.
It is an interesting shift in strategy by BlackBerry, because even if it is just a “strategy” to make money off of the patents, there is still a legitimate claim to be made about Blu re-purposing and reselling products that they don’t make. This is the very reason intellectual property laws exist.
Source: Digital Trends, “Look Who Blackberry’s Suing Now!,” Williams Pelegrin, Aug. 20, 2016