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BlackBerry is suing Facebook for infringing its patents


The Canadian former phone maker claims that the social network has coopted its innovations.

The news:  CNBC reports that BlackBerry is suing Facebook and its subsidiaries, WhatsApp and Instagram, for infringing patents covering things like message notifications and image tagging.

The response: Facebook’s deputy general counsel, Paul Grewal, said it would fight the suit and accused BlackBerry of trying to tax the innovation of other firms after running out of its own ideas.

Backstory: BlackBerry previously sued several other companies for alleged patent infringements. Targets included BLU, a phone maker; Avaya, a communications company; and Nokia. BLU settled its case by inking a licensing agreement.

Why it matters: Some of the patents, like one for message notification, lay claim to widely used approaches. If the suit succeeds, BlackBerry could go after more tech firms.