back to article Facebook flogs dead horse. By flog, we mean sues. And by horse, we mean BlackBerry

Facebook is suing BlackBerry for alleged patent infringement six months after BlackBerry sued Facebook for alleged patent infringement. In a complaint filed in a US district court in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, Facebook claimed that the Canadian messaging biz has ripped off six of its patents. Facebook's patents …

  1. Snowy Silver badge


    So your saying defending your valid patent which you have used to make and sell thing is bad but buying patents so you can sue someone is all fine. Could this article be more Facebook is great, go Facebook go (RAR RAR RAR!_

    1. ratfox

      Re: Hmmm...

      I don't think the article is particularly taking sides for either Facebook or Blackberry.

      That said, I generally oppose software patents. If you want to know why, I believe the entire point of the patent system was to foster innovation; and that rewarding inventors was only ever a means to that end. These days, I feel that innovation is plentiful and cutthroat, and that software patents are generally hurting that innovation rather than fostering it. Therefore, I would suggest we get rid of them.

      1. Mark 65

        Re: Hmmm...

        I've said it before and I'll say it again - the vast majority of US patents used in this way are not valid and involve no inventive step or present anything that isn't/wasn't obvious to someone knowledgeable in the field. They are also only enforceable in the US which, handily, Trump is removing from trading with the rest of the planet so perhaps we won't have to put up with this shit for much longer.

  2. DanceMan
    Thumb Up

    IP freely

    Subhead of the week.

    1. tfewster
      Thumb Up

      Re: IP freely

  3. bazza Silver badge

    Why not Buy BlackBerry?

    I've long since wondered why no one has acquired BlackBerry. They do have a ton of IP, a lot of it is fundamental stuff (because they were the first to do a lot of the things that are now commonplace), and it's not all just software patents and keyboard designs.

    For example, they were pretty good at antenna designs I recall, something that Apple could have benefited from. BlackBerry own one of the best real time OSes out there, QNX, yet Google seem intent on writing their own from scratch at vast expense (Fuchsia). That's particularly odd on Google's part because owning both QNX and Android would put them in a very strong position to shoe-horn their services into almost all in-car-entertainment systems worldwide, something that sounds strategically very important to Google, almost worth paying any price for.

    If anyone wanted an IP portfolio to add to their own armoury, getting hold of BlackBerry's stash is probably a good bargain at the moment.

  4. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Software patents aren't a thing surely? (except in merica)

    1. Steve Knox

      Tell me again...

      ...where these lawsuits were filed?

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Software patents aren't a thing surely? (except in merica)

      There are software patents in other jurisdictions, though in my experience they're generally written to emphasize the "hardware and software" aspect of the invention. I know of several UK patents that are essentially software patents, for example.

  5. Cuddles

    Pot, meet kettle

    "Having abandoned its efforts to innovate, BlackBerry is now looking to tax the innovation of others,"

    "(acquired from AOL)... (acquired from AT&T)... (acquired from BellSouth)... (acquired from HP)... (acquired from 3Com)... (acquired from HP)"


    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Pot, meet kettle

      That's what Facebook said: the innovation of others, not "the innovation of us".

      On a more serious note: this is precisely how this game is played. Facebook acquired a portfolio of defensive patents. They don't care whether those patents are meaningful, and they don't especially care whether any of them get overturned, as long as their portfolio doesn't become too slender. They're just there as a club to beat litigants with.

      Blackberry gambled that Facebook would rather settle than get into a dragged-out court battle. So far it seems they were wrong. You never know with the deep-pocketed types. Sometimes they're happy to just throw some money at the problem and make it go away (as Cisco did, for example); sometimes they get their hackles up, and decide to make this one pay, possibly as a warning to others or possibly just out of spite.

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