BlackBerry accuses Snapchat of using its patented messaging technology

Snap infringed six patents issued in 2012 and 2014, BlackBerry is alleging.
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)

BlackBerry Ltd. is suing Snap Inc., accusing the company of using its patented messaging technology in the Snapchat app. The suit mirrors a similar complaint the Canadian software developer brought last month against Facebook Inc.

BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen has been working to find additional sources of revenue as investors express concern over growth rates at his company’s core security-focused software business. That has sent BlackBerry hunting through its library of wireless tech and messaging patents to find opportunities for more licensing deals — and lawsuits.

BlackBerry alleged in March that Facebook’s apps copy old methods for displaying messages — methods from the days when BlackBerry’s messaging service was a world leader. BlackBerry has managed to secure settlements from Cisco Systems Inc., phone maker BLU Products and communications tech firm Avaya Holdings Corp.

The complaint accuses Snap of infringing six patents issued in 2012 and 2014. Two of those are among the seven BlackBerry patents that were in the suit against Facebook filed March 6.


Representatives of Venice-based Snap declined to comment.

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