OTTAWA: Canadian telecommunications firm BlackBerry sued Facebook on Tuesday, accusing the American social media company of infringing on its patents for messaging apps.
BlackBerry is claiming infringement on patents it holds for message encryption and notifications, and is seeking an injunction as well as damages for lost profits, although no figure was given.
Facebook and its wholly-owned services Instagram and WhatsApp are named as defendants in the lawsuit. The company said it intends to fight the lawsuit.
“We have a lot of respect for Facebook and the value they’ve placed on messaging capabilities, some of which were invented by BlackBerry,” BlackBerry spokeswoman Sarah McKinney said in a statement.
She said BlackBerry would like to partner with Facebook “in our drive toward a securely connected future, and we continue to hold this door open to them.”
“However, 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,” McKinney added.
Facebook shot back by disparaging BlackBerry, saying the lawsuit “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,” Facebook deputy general counsel Paul Grewal said.
BlackBerry, after abandoning the manufacture of its once-popular smartphones, which it also pioneered, has refocused its core business on cybersecurity software and services.