If BlackBerry’s first patent lawsuit earlier in August wasn’t enough confirmation of the company’s business strategy shift, then let its latest lawsuits against Florida-based phone manufacturer Blu Products serve as further proof.
Filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida, the two complaints allege that Blu, known for selling relatively affordable unlocked phones, infringed on 15 of BlackBerry’s patents. The patents in question revolve around processors, power management, mobile communication, and more. Because of the infringements, BlackBerry alleges, Blu “earned substantial revenue selling 2G, 3G, and LTE-compliant products that use BlackBerry’s technology.”
According to the complaints, BlackBerry attempted to resolve the matter by offering Blu fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND — use that term in casual conversation, I dare you) terms to have the phone manufacturer legally license its patents. Blu supposedly ignored the offer, which is why BlackBerry took to the legal system to have the issue resolved.
“Despite efforts by BlackBerry to negotiate, Blu has persisted in importing, selling, and offering for sale a substantial volume of standard-compliant products that use BlackBerry’s SEP technology without a license,” reads one of the complaints.
Blu has yet to respond to the lawsuit; Digital Trends has reached out to BlackBerry and Blu for comment and will update this post should either company choose to respond.
As alluded to earlier, BlackBerry filed its first patent infringement complaint earlier in August when it took Californian tech company Avaya to court, a move that marked the company’s first pivot into making money off its patent library. As of September, BlackBerry owns around 44,000 patents that are believed to be worth about as much as the company itself, so it comes as no surprise that it might want to make some money off of them.
Even so, Blu is the second company in less than three weeks to be on the receiving end of patent complaints from BlackBerry. Who do you think is next?