After suing Nokia in 2017 and Facebook this year, BlackBerry has now reportedly filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Snapchat's parent company Snap. Earlier this month, BlackBerry sued Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram apps, alleging that they copied technology and features from the BlackBerry Messenger. Last year, BlackBerry had sued Nokia, alleging infringement of patents relating to 3G and 4G wireless communications technology. Now, BlackBerry is reportedly going after Snap, accusing it of infringing on six patents.
As per a Bloomberg report, BlackBerry's complaint against Snap claims the latter infringed upon six patents issued in 2012 and 2014, two of which are among the seven patents that were in the lawsuit against Facebook. In a report, Mashable noted that the patents included map and UI improvement for mobile devices and modern mobile advertising techniques. Interestingly, the map improvement refers to Snapchat's launch of Snap Map.
A spokesperson for BlackBerry told Mashable in a statement, "BlackBerry has a well-earned reputation for protecting and securing our customers' data and privacy. For more than a year we have been working to establish a dialogue with Snap as we believe there are far more opportunities for partnership than disagreement. While we continue to hold this door open, we also have a strong claim that Snap infringed on our intellectual property, harmed our shareholders, and we have an obligation to pursue appropriate legal remedies."
Notably, the lawsuit has been filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California. The filing has been posted by a journalist on Scribd. In the filing, comparisons of illustrations from BlackBerry's patents and screenshots taken from Snapchat can be seen. Meanwhile, there has been no official word from Snap regarding the issue.
BlackBerry has been successful in its spree of lawsuits. Last year Qualcomm had agreed to pay BlackBerry $814.9 million (roughly Rs. 5,300 crores) to resolve arbitration over royalty payments. In October 2017, BlackBerry announced a confidential settlement with Blu Products, a Florida-based maker of low-cost mobile devices it had also sued for patent infringement. Meanwhile, the Nokia case is still pending in federal court in Delaware.
Litigation over patent infringement certainly appears to be a part of BlackBerry CEO John Chen's strategy for making money for the company, which has lost market share in the smartphone market it once dominated.