Canadian tech giant BlackBerry filed a lawsuit against Snapchat maker Snap, alleging the Venice, Los Angeles-based company infringed on seven of its patents. The 71-page complaint was filed with the United States District Court for the Central District of California on Tuesday, with BlackBerry asserting the current version of the Snapchat mobile app is by itself evidence backing many of its infringement claims. The firm claims its BlackBerry Messenger "revolutionized instant messaging," prompting consumers to start expecting support for intuitive IM solutions from contemporary smartphones. Snapchat's Direct Messages functionality infringes on two of BlackBerry's patented methods of providing message timestamps and other time data in an IM environment, according to the plaintiff.
The Snap Map feature introduced by the company in mid-2017 also infringes on a pair of patents describing techniques for "determining action spot locations relative to the location of a mobile device," as per the same complaint. Likewise, BlackBerry appears to have targeted the manner in which Snapchat uses Apple's Notification Badges on iOS, though the lawsuit doesn't mention Notification Dots which the app supports on devices running Android 8.0 Oreo and later versions of Google's operating system. The patents Snap was now accused of infringing date back to as far as 2001. The complaint itself has yet to be reviewed and approved by the competent court and neither Snap nor BlackBerry issued a comment on the matter in any capacity, nor are they expected to given how the official policy of both companies is to avoid discussing ongoing litigation. The case isn't likely to be resolved this year, with disputes of this nature often taking years to be concluded.
BlackBerry is one of the world's largest patent holders and a firm that's relatively frequently involved in infringement litigation, both as a plaintiff and defendant. Late last year, the company lost a major case against Nokia, having been ordered to pay the Finnish tech giant $137 million over a patent dispute following private arbitration.