Things are about to get heated between two of the biggest tech companies.
On Tuesday (March 6), BlackBerry (TSX:BB; NYSE:BB) filed a patent infringement lawsuit in a Los Angeles court against Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and its services including Instagram and the WhatsApp messaging service.
Reuters broke the news, stating the Canadian-based tech company is suing the social media company over a series of improper use of BlackBerry’s messaging services. BlackBerry also said a statement advising it had been trying over the course of several years to resolve the issue out of court, but decided to pursue the claim at the interest of its shareholders.
Sarah McKinney, a BlackBerry spokesperson, said in a statement:
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.
As a cybersecurity and embedded software leader, BlackBerry’s view is that Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp could make great partners in our drive toward a securely connected future, and we continue to hold this door open to them.
According to the court documents, the patents BlackBerry is suing Facebook over include: security improvement; user interface improvements; combined mobile gaming and mobile messaging; and battery efficient status updates for mobile devices.
BlackBerry claims in the court documents that its innovation, BlackBerry Messenger “revolutionized instant messaging by providing users with secure, user-friendly, point-to-point instant messaging on their mobile devices.”
The claim continues, alleging that Facebook created mobile messaging applications that mirror 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.”
In an email statement to the Investing News Network (INN) Paul Grewal deputy general counsel at Facebook said, “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.”
Since Tuesday morning’s announcement, shares of BlackBerry on the TSX have dropped 0.31 percent to $16.03 at market close on Tuesday, while on the NYSE its shares have increased 0.48 percent to $12.44. Facebook’s shares have dipped slightly by 0.34 percent to $179.78.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.