BlackBerry, to no surprise, has a ton of patents in their portfolio. Much like Motorola and even the likes of Samsung and HTC, BlackBerry has been in the mobile space for quite some time, and thus have racked up a pretty large portfolio of patents. These patents can be used by other companies, but they need to be licensed. Otherwise, BlackBerry can sue the company using them, and that’s exactly what BlackBerry is doing right now. This time around, the offender is BLU Products. Many of you may not know BLU, but they are a rather small company, based in Miami, FL and they put out some incredibly cheap unlocked smartphones.
The lawsuit was filed by BlackBerry in Florida, the home turf of BLU Products. There are actually two separate requests made by BlackBerry for legal action. Total, there are 15 patents that are being infringed here, according to BlackBerry. These include patents that relate to general SEPs, messaging, API, battery and imaging technologies. Which BlackBerry is claiming that BLU Products used these all without permission from the company. They also note that they have attempted to work with BLU Products for negotiation, but their pleas have gone unanswered.
This could be a pretty big issue for BLU Products. After all, they haven’t been around all that long, especially when compared to BlackBerry. And just because BlackBerry is claiming they are infringing on these patents, doesn’t mean they actually are. That will be up to the courts to decide, unless of course, the two can settle out of court. Which would probably be preferable for both companies. This does also show the increasing relevance that BLU Products is having on the smartphone industry. Especially with their cheaper smartphones getting better and better, like the recently announced BLU R1 HD, which Amazon is selling for just $50 (of course that includes ads from Amazon).
It’ll likely be quite a few months before we hear anything new on this case between BLU Products and BlackBerry, as these patent infringement cases can take months and even years to go to court (just look at Apple v Samsung from a few years ago).