Patent Licensing Insights: Blackberry’s portfolio can pose a litigation threat to approx 2000+ companies

If you’re a patent professional who likes to keep track of ongoing patent licensing campaigns, Blackberry might be on the top of your list. The Waterloo, Ontario based company has sued social media and search giants like Facebook, Twitter, Snap, and Google for infringing its patents.

The aim of the campaign isn’t to protect BlackBerry but to feed the high-margin growth engine of IP business. The Canadian tech giant has a patent portfolio of 44000+ patents which it wants to monetize aggressively. In fact, Blackberry is quite successful in pursuit. In Q4 2019 BlackBerry made $99 million (up from $68 million in Q3) from IP business which is 39% of its top line.

Blackberry’s strategy seems clear here. The company knows it is going to receive some setbacks in the form of invalidated patents. Google, for example, in Aug 2018, convinced PTAB to invalidate three patents on obviousness ground. Last month in January, Google got two more BB”s patents nixed at the FC, and Facebook sought summary judgment in California federal court arguing that BlackBerry’s patents recite abstract ideas.

However, Blackberry knows that it has to manage one or two battle wins, and the pay-out will achieve the objective of boosting IP revenue. Further, Blackberry can sue more companies to increase their top-line figures.

Who could be its next target? Out of curiosity, I reviewed Blackberry’s patents to figure which other companies could be its next target.

Blackberry’s portfolio has patents that could pose litigation threat to 2000+ companies

If you are a regular reader of GreyB’s patent strategy blog, you must have read my last week’s article where I shared how office action data can help find patents with the potential to make money. I also shared how GreyB’s BOS tool helps in the pursuit.

We build BOS to help in-house IP teams and Patent Brokerages to make money from patents in a non-aggressive way.

I used the BOS tool for my analysis as well. After being in the business of patent monetization for more than 8 years, and using multiple strategies and tools, I can tell you that BOS simplifies the task of identifying:

  • Organizations that could be approached to get a license,
  • And the patents that could be used for non-aggressive licensing

You can try your hands on BOS by following this link (https://labsdev.greyb.com). You can see first-hand what kind of interesting insights the tool offers. Alternatively, if you want to know more, I encourage you to request a demo here: https://www.greyb.com/bos/

A single click and BOS brought a list of ~2000 companies that could be infringing on Blackberry’s patent portfolio. On the right-hand side of the above screenshot, you can see LG, IBM, Ericsson are appearing. Many of the patent applications of these assignees were being blocked by the patent documents of Blackberry during prosecution.

Interestingly, one of the patents by Blackberry, US8429292B2, can be a potential threat to a lot of well-known companies that provide email services. US’292 focuses on extracting date/time mentioned in an email conversation to automatically fill-in fields of a calendar event. Now, this seems to be quite a common feature these days in email clients as well as in messaging software (like WhatsApp which is already being sued).

Furthermore, the US’292 patent by Blackberry might be a threat to one of the largest smartphone sellers of the world (although a detailed analysis would be required to confirm this threat). And there are ~200+ more such patents that could pose a threat to the same company.

Before we say Sayonara, did you like the insights I shared today? Would you like to know such insights about your patent portfolio as well? Which companies are working on similar technology and might be interested in licensing your patents? If yes is what you murmured, please fill in the form below and we’ll get in touch with you soon:

Authored By: Rohit Sood (Patent Monetization Team) and Gaurav Neema (Product Development Team)

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