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Jan 15, 2021

BlackBerry and Facebook reach settlement in global patent fight

BlackBerry rises as filing shows it's in talks for Facebook settlement

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BlackBerry Ltd. said it’s settled a dispute with Facebook Inc. over patent royalties for terms that weren’t disclosed.

“We have resolved our disputes pursuant to a confidential agreement and have no further comment,” BlackBerry spokeswoman Karen Clyne said in an email. Jay Nancarrow, a Facebook spokesman, said the company had no comment.

BlackBerry sued Facebook in 2018, claiming the social media giant was using BlackBerry inventions in its popular messaging applications. Facebook responded with a successful campaign to challenge BlackBerry patents, and launched its own suit accusing BlackBerry of infringing patents for voice messaging technology.

Facebook’s case against BlackBerry was put on hold last month to allow settlement talks to proceed, though that hold is scheduled to end Friday.

BlackBerry, once known for a popular array of mobile devices, had been looking to boost revenue through patent royalties but has found it difficult. Earlier this month it sold 90 patents to China’s Huawei Technologies Co.

The Waterloo, Canada-based company has turned its focus to its software and security offerings. In December, it signed an agreement with Amazon.com Inc. to develop and market a software platform that aims to let automakers read vehicle sensor data, improving the performance of cloud-connected vehicles.

BlackBerry rose for a second day, and closed up 8 per cent to US$9.84 in New York trading. The stock has risen 48 per cent since the beginning of the year.

--With assistance from Blake Brittain.