BlackBerry just filed a lawsuit against Facebook, claiming the company’s various messaging platforms–which include both Instagram and WhatsApp–infringe on BlackBerry’s Messenger service. In essence, the case alleges that BlackBerry was the first to come to market with a mobile messaging app, and Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp piggybacked on its patented technology to build out their programs over the last decade.
The patented technologies include BlackBerry’s “key generation technique,” its public key cryptosystem (which was used as a security layer for messages sent and received), a user interface for unobtrusively informing users of unread messages, and other UI implementations that BlackBerry claims Facebook illegally used.
The lawsuit asks for unspecified damages to BlackBerry for infringing on its patents. It also demands Facebook cease using its intellectual property. Paul Grewal, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, offered this comment: “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.”
This story is developing. I’ll update as soon as I learn more.