BlackBerry is licensing some of its patents to Timex, the watchmaker, as BlackBerry made an announcement earlier this week that it has entered into a licensing agreement with the long-time, well-known watch brand that can be found virtually anywhere watches are sold. The terms of the deal were not disclosed save for the one single detail BlackBerry was willing to share, which is that part of the deal includes Timex making “on-going” royalty payments to BlackBerry for an unspecified amount of time. That’s it. BlackBerry doesn’t mention anything about what the deal could result in when it comes to a product, so it seems it could really be anything at this point. BlackBerry doesn’t mention the amount of those royalty payments either.
BlackBerry does mention that it holds a wide variety of patents that cover a very broad range of different technologies, with its portfolio being somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000+ global patents, so the company isn’t dropping any hints about what Timex wants to license its patents for, and that seems evident by BlackBerry mentioning how many patents it holds. That said, Timex is a watch company. It has always been a watch company, and it’s likely always going to be a watch company, so there’s always the possibility that Timex wants to make a smart wearable of some kind and put BlackBerry’s name on it, which could be anything from a smartwatch to a fitness tracker.
BlackBerry doesn’t make hardware anymore, so if it wanted to enter the wearable space, this is how it would accomplish that goal, and Timex could also benefit seeing as how it would be able to build a wearable that would come with some of BlackBerry’s excellent software and security protection. Of course, none of this has been confirmed and there’s no telling how long it will be before any information surfaces about what BlackBerry and Timex’ plans are. It’s also entirely possible that the patents that BlackBerry is licensing out to Timex have nothing to do with putting BlackBerry’s name on a product like TCL is doing with the recent BlackBerry phones. Timex could simply want to use certain parts of BlackBerry technology inside of a new product that will live under the Timex brand name. As mentioned, it could be anything at this point, but the notion of a BlackBerry wearable certainly could be interesting.