Canadian technology company BlackBerry has taken Snap, formerly known as Snapchat, to court over alleged patent infringement.
In a complaint filed on Tuesday, April 3 at the US District Court for the Central District of California, BlackBerry alleged that Snap had infringed six patents covering messaging technology.
The patents (US numbers 8,825,084; 8,326,327; 8,301,713; 8,209,634; 8,296,351; and 8,676,929) cover map improvements, user interface improvements and advertising techniques.
Snap released the Snapchat application in September 2011, more than six years after BlackBerry’s release of BlackBerry Messenger, which “revolutionised instant messaging”, according to BlackBerry.
Snap has allegedly infringed these patents through the use of ‘Snap Map’, where users can share their location and video stories, and the display count of unread messages.
“Defendant’s use of BlackBerry’s inventions and infringement of the patents-in-suit have succeeded in diverting consumers away from BlackBerry’s products and services and toward those of defendants,” said the claim.
BlackBerry said it’s been attempting to resolve this dispute without litigation, having communicated with Snap for more than a year regarding its patent portfolio.
The latest complaint is reminiscent of a suit filed by BlackBerry last month, when the Canadian company accused Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp subsidiaries of infringing patents relating to messaging technologies, including the ‘634 and ‘713 patents.
Echoing the words of its Facebook complaint, BlackBerry claimed that Snap’s infringement has resulted in a “substantial and undeserved windfall” for Snap.
BlackBerry is seeking injunctive relief against Snap, alongside damages and a jury trial.
In 2016, BlackBerry decided to stop making its own phones. China-based TCL Communication acquired the global rights to use the BlackBerry branding.
Source: WIPR website