BlackBerry & BLU Settle Patent Disputes With A New Deal

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BlackBerry and BLU Products have moved to resolve their court battle related to intellectual property rights by entering into a settlement in which BLU has agreed to pay patent license fees to the Canadian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) on an ongoing basis. BlackBerry announced on Thursday that part of the agreement is to withdraw all of the company’s pending court actions against the American firm in the United States. Other details of the agreement such as how much BLU will be paying to BlackBerry have been withheld as BlackBerry considers those pieces of information confidential.

The Waterloo, Canada-based company which owns a host of patents in its portfolio, filed a patent lawsuit against BLU in August of last year in Florida where BLU is based. The litigation began after BlackBerry accused BLU of infringing on at least 15 patents owned by the company including standard essential ones and patents related to application programming interfaces (APIs), messaging, imaging systems, and batteries. According to BlackBerry’s court filing, BLU made use of those technologies for commercial purposes without its consent. Like all other companies that hold patent rights, BlackBerry is in a position to sue any entity that uses its intellectual property without permission from the company. The company is believed to own approximately 40,000 patents worldwide. BlackBerry last year said that it tried to negotiate with BLU on patent license deals as part of an out-of-court settlement but claimed BLU did not respond to its request. BlackBerry is not the only company that took BLU to court for patent infringement. In April, LG Electronics sued BLU for having allegedly used five patents related to LTE systems for its smartphones without consent from the South Korean OEM.

According to Jerald Gnuschke, senior director of Intellectual Property Licensing at BlackBerry, the settlement will now allow the company to shift its focus toward business opportunities to license its technologies in the mobile market, and probably in other segments as well. Last month, BlackBerry announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with popular watch brand Timex, although terms of the deal have not been disclosed as of this writing.