One week after it launched a patent lawsuit against Texas-based communications firm Avaya, BlackBerry has set it sights on Florida-Based smartphone maker Blu Products, best know for the low-cost Android and Windows Phone devices it produces. In a suit filed with the district court in southern Florida, BlackBerry alleges Blu infringes upon several of its patents relating to cellular connectivity and smartphone user interface elements.
“As a result of its infringement, BLU has earned substantial revenue selling 2G, 3G, and LTE-compliant products that use BlackBerry’s technology. BLU makes, sells, uses, offers to sell, markets, and/or imports numerous smartphones compatible with the 2G, 3G, and LTE standard throughout the United States without a license from BlackBerry,” says the 52 page document.
BlackBerry’s lawyers go on to state the company had contacted Blu about a patent licensing agreement several times, but Blu never responded to its requests.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen has said for some time now he will turn to patent litigation to boost the company’s bottom line.
“We have today about 44,000 patents. The good thing about this is that we also have one of the youngest patent portfolios in the entire industry, so monetization of our patents is an important aspect of our turnaround,” he said during the company’s 2015 Innovation Summit in Waterloo.
He later added, during the company’s recent Q1 2017 earnings call, “Many people have wanted to buy the patents … But I’m not really in a patent-selling mode, I’m in a patent licensing mode.”
Given the cadence BlackBerry is launching these lawsuits, we may see the company send its lawyers against other companies in the coming weeks.