Skip to main content

BlackBerry sues Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp for patent infringements

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are three of the biggest names in the social media space, and they're all being sued by BlackBerry for infringing on patents the company holds for its BlackBerry Messenger app.

BlackBerry officially filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA, and the company is requesting that the claims are heard by a jury in court.

The lawsuit measures in at a hefty 117-pages, and it claims that Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp:

Created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry's innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features that made BlackBerry's products such a critical and commercial success in the first place.

Facebook has already announced that it'll be contesting the lawsuit, with the company's Deputy General Counsel, Paul Grewal, saying:

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.

What do you expect to come out of this?

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

47 Comments
  • Well... what are the features that they are saying are copied? Did you analyze the claim? What are your thoughts?
  • You are expecting a well-written, well-researched article here? Temper your expectations.
  • It's an article by Joe. Don't expect much research.
  • When your company is desperate for revenue, patent suits are a natural fall back. Too bad Blackberry has fallen this far.
  • Not just companies who are strapped for cash, the richer ones are rather partial to some sueball lobbing (cf. Apple).
  • Except for a counter suit against Qualcomm, it seems Apple has backed off on a lot of their suits.
  • If you personally designed something from the ground up, and patented it so no one could steal your idea and design. Would you not protect it?
  • Apple, Samsung, Google and Facebook were pushing the data mining ideas and turned it into business by stealing blackberry idea. Blackberry and qnx know how to build the best car system though.
  • What do u say when apple puts in one of the many lawsuits it files against competitors? "Too bad they've fallen this far"?
  • Blackberry is now just noticing this? How many years? Someone needs some money.
  • “We have a strong claim that Facebook has infringed on our intellectual property, and after several years of dialogue, we also have an obligation to our shareholders to pursue appropriate legal remedies.” A Blackberry Spokesman per Fortune So, no. They did not just notice it since they have been talking for several years. I have no idea if the claim is valid, though.
  • They can't do anything else to make money so now they're suing smh.
  • They're actually doing quite well financially.
  • The make car stereo system and secure 90% of the car. Qnx and enterprise is how they make money. Facebook data mines people and is a corrupt organization. vero will take over that company. What do they really innovate?
  • You unfortunately don't know much about blackberry as a company. smh
  • My expected outcome? Lawyers get paid. Everyone else loses.
  • Well most people don't buy BlackBerrys and Facebook is free to use. So I don't see this hurting people, maybe the marketing for companies. With that said, when it comes to apple Vs samsung, you're right. And people wonder why there's $1000 smartphones now.
  • Good for BlackBerry- BBM was way ahead of its time.
  • It's about time. Maybe if they did this sooner they'd be in a much better place. They let these vultures fly.
  • BBM should have been released to all platforms like 8+ years ago..
  • So should imessage but that will never happen. BBM when created and BlackBerry was the standard phone in the corporate world it was phenomenal for messaging. We all know the story of what BlackBerry should have done. If only they would have we all would have alternative OS options for our mobile devices. I still prefer BlackBerry 10 for a pure communication device. The HUB was and is exceptional. I started with a Curve and used pretty much every BlackBerry offering through my Cobalt Blue Classic. (went to a Samsung S7 last February with the BlackBerry HUB and VKB) To date still no device like the Classic. The keyboard is pure bliss.
  • IMessage is going to have the same fate. Apple should have released it 5+ years ago. Whatapp dominates now and soon Android will have iMessage equivalent.
  • apple can actually sell phones. But you're right, BB stood still in many different areas and was left behind.
  • About time. Undeniable that Whatsapp unashamedly bit BBM's almost every feature.
  • I was wondering why this took so long, for years these guys stole BBM 2008 functionality and technology. Blackberry was way ahead of it's time, I'm sure this is a no contest. Many times with patents prior art is king and Blackberry has had all of the prior messaging art.
  • If you can't innovate, litagate.
  • Sad what Blackberry has become, a company that defined a generation of smartphones reduced to a patent troll.
  • Blame Jim. He was to busy picking his ass and trying to get a hockey team in waterloo instead of running the company and pushing blackberry and RIM forward. As soon as the hockey garbage started, blackberry and RIM DIED! Eyes on the ball Jim. Now, I am glad to see some new blackberry handsets into the wild, but I can just imagine what would be out if capt moron never decided to go hockey crazy.
  • That's what they get for being such a stubborn company 😂 if they were already sinking why not release BBM to all platforms? That's the only good thing they had left. Besides didn't they do the same with WebOS? Oh man the irony.
  • BBM has been available for Android and iOS since 2013. I don't think *any* app is available for *all* platforms (e.g. Symbian, Brew).
  • Should've totally done your research before commenting. BBM has been out since 2013 like the guy posted above me stated.
  • Expect all parties to settle on this one.
  • What features? No real explanation here....
  • Either way it goes, I expect the lawyers to come out on top.
  • I guess they need money... or they were asleep during the last 10 years!
  • I guess you can't read
  • True on all accounts but in this case I expect a settlement and law firms being the real winners. BBM was the first to do all of Wyatt people are using in imessage/What's app messenger app but they should have litigated years ago. 20/20 hindsight vision is a *****
  • Hey did Apple buy blackberry? Cause Apple will sue you for saying the sky is blue. Hahaha
  • Well, actually, so will samesong.
  • Well, whatsapp just stopped supporting bb10 recently. Maybe there was an agreement around licensing that now went sour or not renewed?
  • BB10 is a dying platform. They just recently announced they are stopping all paid apps on BlackBerry World. Plus, months beforehand, they announced they were no longer updating BB10.
  • I guess I could do my own research since this article had ZERO information...Why is Apple's iMessage not included? Must be affraid to go after Apple?
  • Because Apple is a tech company that has the tool and resources to come up with or the very least avoid infringing on other's patents. OR maybe BB and Apple made a deal somewhere in the several years BB reached out to Facebook.
  • Facebook is evil.
  • There is plenty of truth behind your comment. My sister-in-law told me a friend of hers noticed Facebook suggesting items in her feed that she simply mentioned to someone, and never looked said item up on the internet. How did Facebook know she was interested in that item? I don't have the Facebook app on my phone, and I check Facebook maybe once a month. My sister-in-law told me on Sunday my niece is expecting me to buy her a Nintendo 3DS for her sixth birthday, because I bought one for my nephew on his sixth birthday. I checked Facebook today and - somebit©h - Facebook suggested a Nintendo 3DS on Amazon. How the fuçk did they know?
  • It's not magic, your friend's friend either looked it up or liked enough pages to the point that facebook knows the type and range of items your friend is into. Instead of questioning Facebook, you might want to look at your Google phone, or smart speaker. Free is never free.
  • Anyone that used BBM 10 years ago knows exactly what was stolen. BBM wasn't years ahead, they created the messenger app and everything people praise facebook messenger, WhatApp, iMessage for, BBM already did it years prior. BlackBerry messed up for staying still way too long and should have licensed out BBM to everyone. To me, BB have a way stronger case than apple does with rounded corners claim.