BlackBerry has continued its attempt to make money from the firm's 40,000-odd patents by accusing US budget smartphone manufacturer BLU of infringing 15 of them.
BlackBerry started to exploit its collection of patents in earnest earlier this year, and has now filed two lawsuits against BLU just weeks after targeting telephony firm Avaya.
The patents include 7,969,924 (Method and apparatus for state/mode transitioning), 8,489,868 (Software code signing system and method) and 8,402,384 (Dynamic bar-oriented user interface).
It wouldn't be surprising to see BlackBerry going after other Android smartphone makers, given the highly generic description of these patents, in particular for a 'dynamic bar-oriented user interface'.
Right now, though, BlackBerry is starting small and has set its sights on Miami-based BLU. BlackBerry claims in the lawsuit that "BLU infringes multiple BlackBerry patents by using, without authorisation, BlackBerry’s proprietary technology in BLU’s commercial mobile devices".
The documents also assert that “BLU has earned substantial revenue selling 2G, 3G and LTE-compliant products that use BlackBerry’s technology", adding that "those sales have propelled BLU to become, in its own words, 'one of the fastest growing mobile phone manufacturers in the world'".
BLU was founded in 2009 and has sold more than 30 million Android and Windows phones worldwide, according to reports. BLU's smartphones are typically highly stylised, very well-specified and keenly priced.
Perhaps BlackBerry would have been better advised to strike a deal with BLU over its disappointing new DTEK50 smartphone, rather than TCL-owned Alcatel.
Nevertheless, BlackBerry said that it has attempted to resolve the matter by offering BLU fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms to legally license its patents, but that BLU apparently ignored the offer to negotiate a settlement.
“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 licence,” reads the complaint.
BlackBerry and BLU have not commented on the lawsuit.
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