As we learned in during the last earning’s call, BlackBerry is now in the business of licensing it’s patents. This may just prove to be quite the lucrative business for BlackBerry, as we know that BlackBerry has a an extensive patent library. As John Chen stated before, “We have today about 44,000 patents. The good thing about this is that we also have one of the youngest patent portfolios in the entire industry”
This should be especially important to BlackBerry device fans, as John Chen has now lumped the patent licensing business with the device business, creating a new Mobility segment. With this new segment, much of the pressure is taken off device sales, as it is now bundled with what should be an extremely profitable business. Where before, analysts focused on the number of device sales, the focus shall now be on this Mobility segment.
Is it working? It’s still quite early to tell, however we do know that BlackBerry has secured a licensing agreement with Cisco as well as another another unnamed company around the same time. Both these deals will result in monetary compensation for BlackBerry. More recently BlackBerry has signed licensing deals with Canon and International Game Technology. I have also heard rumor of BlackBerry gaining a licensing agreement from a certain computer company, although I have yet to receive confirmation.
Now, BlackBerry has filed a patent suit against Avaya on July 27th. This suit is no small thing. The complaint is over 100 pages long, which explains in highly detailed terms, how Avaya has infringed on eight of BlackBerry’s US patents. (patent numbers 9143801, 8964849, 8116739, 8886212, 8688439, 7440561, 8554218 and 737296)
It is quite obvious BlackBerry is taking this new category of business very seriousely, and I, as a fan of BlackBerry phones, couldn’t be happier to see it.