BlackBerry goes after unlocked smartphone specialist BLU Products in latest patent battle
Patent infringement lawsuits are obviously nothing new in the ultra-competitive, sometimes too heated and egocentric mobile industry, with Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Qualcomm, Google, Microsoft, HTC and Nokia just a few of the frequent protagonists of drawn-out court disputes that very often end in behind-the-scenes settlements.
Of course, a lot of money is typically exchanged in such licensing and cross-licensing understandings, which BlackBerry must now be seeking from BLU Products. Those don’t exactly sound like the two most active smartphone-manufacturing companies on this battleground, although BB did recently target a lesser known tech outfit called Avaya in a similar Texas complaint.
The new one, against fast-rising Miami-based developer and retailer of affordable unlocked handhelds BLU, was filed in Florida, on the latter’s home turf. There are in fact two separate requests for legal action, involving a grand total of 15 patents, ranging from general SEPs to more specific battery, API, messaging, and imaging technologies, which the Canadian mammoth claims BLU Products used without permission.
“Numerous smartphones compatible with the 2G, 3G, and LTE standard” have allegedly been sold by the accused “throughout the United States without a license from BlackBerry”, pleas of FRAND term authorizing or any other sort of negotiation going unanswered. It sounds like potentially big trouble for an OEM that’s still relatively new in the business and financially fragile, though it’s also an indirect acknowledgement of BLU’s increasing relevance. Besides, a charge of wrongdoing doesn’t automatically equal a guilty verdict.