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04.05.18

It Won’t Be Long Before BlackBerry Becomes Just a Patent Extortion Operation, Formerly Recognised as a Real Company

Posted in America, Patents at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Florian Müller calls it “trollification of a failed tech business” (because all roads lead to nowhere)

BlackBerry road

Summary: BlackBerry keeps talking about “software business,” but it seems to be in the business of suing (or threatening to sue) using software patents

THE company once known as BlackBerry should probably rename because all it has left is a bunch of almost-expired patents, granted for the most part by the USPTO a decade or more ago.

“The usual trollification of a failed tech business,” Florian Müller called it. “No reason why it shouldn’t happen in Canada, too.”

“Is BlackBerry still an operating company? Yes. But for how much longer?”Canada already has other large patent trolls, such as WiLAN, not just BlackBerry.

Is BlackBerry still an operating company? Yes. But for how much longer?

BlackBerry has just signaled (yet again) that it is little more than a patent troll at this stage, except some remnants of its software business. Earlier this week (2 days ago) Wall Street media said that using software patents — yet again — “BlackBerry Accuses Snap of Using Patented Messaging Technology” (that’s their headline).

“So the company has decided to become a patent troll which preys on every company that does messaging.”“BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen” it says, “has been working to find additional sources of revenue as investors express concern over growth rates at the company’s core security-focused software business. That has sent the company hunting through its library of wireless tech and messaging patents to find opportunities for more licensing deals, and lawsuits. [...] The complaint accuses Snap of infringing six patents issued in 2012 and 2014. Two of those are among the seven BlackBerry patents that were in the suit against Facebook filed March 6.”

The Verge then said: “The complaint was first reported by Bloomberg.”

So the company has decided to become a patent troll which preys on every company that does messaging. Lawsuits or not, there are now demands. BlackBerry wants ‘protection’ money. There were many articles about it yesterday [1, 2, 3, 4], one of which (the last) titled “BlackBerry is also suing Snap over messaging and map patents” (no lawsuit yet).

“IAM was a big booster of Mark Kokes and his strategy at BlackBerry.”It’s worth noting that all of these lawsuits are happening even after Mark Kokes left BlackBerry.

IAM was a big booster of Mark Kokes and his strategy at BlackBerry. Yesterday it conveniently wrote about BlackBerry as though it’s already purely a patent troll — that is, ignoring the demise of the company and isolating only the extortion to make it look big (and growing), with “50% year-on-year rise” in the headline. From the outline (outside paywall):

Despite major upheaval in its licensing team BlackBerry saw a significant increase in its patent royalty income during the last fiscal year, according to figures released last week. Revenues jumped by more than 50% in the 12 months which concluded at the end of February, reaching $196 million, up from $126 million for FY 2017. The rise came despite the departure last summer of senior vice president of intellectual property, licensing & standards Mark Kokes, as well as the subsequent resignations of several of his direct reports – including licensing director Victor Schubert and head of technology, IP and standards, Paul Carpenter.

So they’re just treating BlackBerry as nothing but a patents company. They know what’s coming.

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