BlackBerry Ltd. says it is exploring alternatives around the sale of its legacy patents as a deal with U.S.-based Catapult IP Innovations Inc. has taken longer than expected to complete

In January, BlackBerry said it had agreed to sell its mobile device, messaging and wireless networking patents to Catapult for US$600 million.

The Delaware-registered Catapult was formed specifically to acquire the patents, with funding from a group of lenders led by Toronto-based Third Eye Capital that also includes an unnamed Canadian pension fund.

BlackBerry says Catapult continues to work on securing the financing needed to get the deal done.

The Waterloo-based company also says that it looks forward to the completion of the patent deal but is "no longer under exclusivity" with Catapult.

BlackBerry's focus today is on software used by automakers and cybersecurity after its once highly popular phones fell out of fashion.