BlackBerry and Kik settle 2010 patent infringement lawsuit

Ian Hardy

October 8, 2013 8:00am

In 2010 Waterloo-based BlackBerry (then called Research In Motion) accused Waterloo-based messaging app start-up Kik Interactive of patent infringement and ‘breaching contractual obligations.’

At the time, Kik had 2.5 million users and BlackBerry accused Ted Livingston, its founder and past RIM co-op student who worked on BlackBerry Messenger, that he created a service which closely resembled BBM that showed when a message has been sent, delivered and read – which ultimately ‘confused’ BlackBerry users. BlackBerry immediately suspending Kik from the BlackBerry World app store.

Livingston declared in 2010 that ‘RIM’s Legal Action is Unjustified and Disappointing… Kik intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit brought by RIM.’ According to a report in the Globe and Mail, the lawsuit has finally been settled 3 years later. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but both BlackBerry and Kik confirmed a settlement was achieved last month and the case was dismissed.

BlackBerry has over 65 million BBM users, but Kik escalated in popularity after this event and went cross platform to Android, iOS and Windows Phone, now having about 90 million users.

Livingston stated that ‘BBM was the killer app, and chat apps are still the killer apps of consumer smartphones… I think if RIM had spun BBM out of the company and let an independent company run with it [as a cross-platform service] it would be big enough to rival Facebook.’

Source: Globe

  • vn33

    What would you use ? Kik or WhatsApp ?
    Sorry BBM, you’re still not on Android yet, otherwise I’d be using you already !

  • J-Ro

    KIK is actually a decent service. It is the closest thing to BBM and doesn’t require you to give out your number. KIK over Whatsapp anyday

    • J-Ro

      KIK is bare bones. It is good for messaging and nothing else really. Up until the recent update, I couldn’t even locate my contacts. They have come a long way but they still seems more controlled than Whatsapp (not to mention it is free)

    • vn33

      I tried Kik previously, but the problem is so many of my friends and family are on WhatsApp already, that’s why I continue with WhatsApp. Also, like the ability to attach pictures and video to send along with my messages. Does Kik has this ability yet ?

    • J-Ro

      That is the only issue with Kik. It isn’t as wide spread as Whatsapp. This settlement might lead to a wide array of changes though, who knows.

    • iPlunks

      Whatsapp covers all current OS, while KiK only supporting Android and iOS.

    • iPlunks

      How am i incorrect??? You know i stated kik is only supporting 2 OS’s meaning if updates are done its not for bb or wp.

    • J-Ro

      It is on the older BB OS as well. Not sure about WP.

    • iPlunks

      Look on their websites. Think in their blog section. It states that they are moving forward with iOS and Android for future support and updates. While you can still use and download it for bb and wp it will no longer be receiving updates

    • iPlunks

      Just shut up

    • vn33

      Condescending attitude like that really ruins an intelligent discussion !

    • Yulet

      You must be in elementary school since you’re whining about $0.99 charge for a year of service, which comes to ¢8/month.

    • iPlunks

      Thats data from your service provider. Nothing from the developers

    • iPlunks

      Like ads? the same ads that consumer refuse to have in their apps?

    • J-Ro

      I think they keep renewing the free service to keep the user base up. It sounds a lot better to say 250 million subscribers, rather than what the number would be for paid.

  • Yeas

    The only problem with kik is spam messages from bots.

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    after the Lame Excuse Crackberry had for Delaying BBM to Android
    I am using KIK
    Really Hope someone buys Black Berry and Splits it up now

  • Tom

    I tried Kik a year ago and didn’t find any compelling reason to use it over Whatsapp. Plus there was the spam…

    I actually like VIber best – it even has a desktop client and still has the convenience of using a phone number as a username. The only downside to Viber is that it compresses pictures a little too much compared to Whatsapp, so I keep both installed.

    Viber’s free for now until the devs work out a monetization scheme. It’s completely ad-free. I’ll definitely pay whatever the devs charge, especially if it’s $1/year like whatsapp. Even $10/year is fair to me.