back to article BlackBerry offloads its 'legacy' patents – some of the stuff that made its phones hum

BlackBerry, once a byword for the world's most ubiquitous mobile messaging devices, has decided the tech that propelled it to the top of the charts is now a non-core legacy asset and disposed of it for $600 million. A statement from the company reveals that Catapult IP Innovations Inc. will buy BlackBerry's non-core patents, …

  1. Michael Hoffmann
    Thumb Up

    Impressive!

    You managed that entire report without once using the word "troll".

    Even though it looks like it could have been justified in just about every paragraph.

    1. Steve K Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Impressive!

      Since a 2020 acquisition, the "troll" patent has been owned by Under Bridge IP Opportunities Inc. and so can no longer be used freely....

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Impressive!

      Remember when Blackberry was Research In Motion (RIM), and El Reg called them Lawsuits In Motion for all their patent trolling?

      Ah, good times.

      1. devin3782 Bronze badge
        Coat

        Re: Impressive!

        They've been circling the rim for a while. So Lawsuits In Motion Patients would LIMP then.

  2. Joe W Silver badge
    Pint

    ---> have one

  3. Aoyagi Aichou

    Legacy

    "The company eventually stopped making handsets"

    Not before they made the Priv, which is my primary smartphone to this day (two displays and two batteries later). I dread the day comes I have to move to 100% tap-typing, having to touch scroll, etc...

    And I've never used a BBOS Blackberry device.

    What does this Catapult IP Innovations entity intend to do with whatever they got their hands on anyway? Troll?

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Legacy

      What does this Catapult IP Innovations entity intend to do with whatever they got their hands on anyway?

      Catapult sueballs at (un)suspecting victims?

  4. LDS Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Live by the fashiom die by the fashion

    Blackberry success owed a lot to its status-symbol effect. Of course, when an even better status-symbol device came along, the end of the story was clear.

    That not to diminish the quality of some of the services it delivered (for its time) - but they were not the main reason to buy a BB for a lot of people. It wasn't also the only device with a decent physical keyboard.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Live by the fashiom die by the fashion

      Although the "status symbol" was that you were important enough to need to be in touch with work 24x7.

      The fruity status symbol is just a symbol that you were able to pay for a fruity status symbol

  5. wolfetone Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "But by 2009 the iPhone 3G was widely available and its on-screen keyboard did everything that was possible on a BlackBerry."

    Except for copy & paste, which didn't come out until the 3GS.

  6. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    "by 2009 the iPhone 3G was widely available and its on-screen keyboard did everything that was possible on a BlackBerry."

    Except for typing without looking at the device.

    1. nick of herts

      My daughters are able to type on iPhones without looking and achieve a surprising degree of accuracy.

  7. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    In the early 2000s, BlackBerry was the dominant mobile phone maker

    Blackberry shipments peaked at 14.6m in Q4 2010 [1]. At that time, Nokia was selling about 30m per quarter [2], giving it about 40% market share against Blackberry's 19% {3].

    So yes, Blackberry/RIM did very well, briefly, but were only "dominant" if you were a particular type of business user.

    [1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/263395/rim-smartphones-shipped-worldwide-since-1st-quarter-2007/

    [2] https://www.businessinsider.com/nokia-mobile-phone-sales-by-year-2016-5?r=US&IR=T

    [3] https://www.statista.com/statistics/270006/worldwide-market-share-of-smartphone-brands/

  8. newspuppy

    unable to pivot...

    Sadly... I always thought that BlackBerry had a incredible chance at pivoting to a business social network.

    They had all the heavy hitters using their system.. They could see what contact was talking to contact..., frequency, times (and time zone of both) so they could easily build a social graph and infer just business , business ++ ..intra business or inter business.

    Now they are pivoting to security..

    yet.. in 2010 according to news reports ( https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/technology/09rim.html ) they were working with governments to spy on customers...

    <QUOTE>

    Last week the Emirates threatened to block BlackBerry’s e-mail and instant messaging services in that country unless R.I.M. created back doors to allow officials to eavesdrop on the company’s customers. Saudi Arabia has made a similar threat, and news reports over the weekend suggested that a deal had been made, but it was unclear what any deal might involve. Lebanon has also raised concerns. Indian officials have been negotiating with R.I.M. over access to BlackBerry messages for a couple of weeks.

    Although it is unclear precisely what these countries are asking for, one demand is for the same kind of access to BlackBerry’s encrypted services that they think the company already gives authorities in the United States and other industrialized democracies.

    <END QUOTE>

    Just feels like the branding has an issue....

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: unable to pivot...

      Unless your govt is currently kicking down the door of your security supplier or banning them from your country you can assume they have a backdoor - whatever they are saying in public,

  9. AaronCake

    BlackBerry only 1999 - present

    A sad day. Posted from my BlackBerry Classic which after Jan. 5th 2022 will never again show the RIM pips beside the signal strength meters. The shutdown is largely reported as the 4th however it didn't seem to start until the 5th. Then in the evening they started dropping off one by one until at about 8:30PM EST, my pips disappeared as my device dropped connection to the last remaining NOC up, all the way in Slough.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: BlackBerry only 1999 - present

      "my pips disappeared"

      Did they squeak?

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