The social media giant filed its own infringement lawsuit, accusing BlackBerry's enterprise products of infringing six of its patents.
Facebook Inc. has upped the ante in its patent dispute with BlackBerry Ltd.
On Tuesday the social media giant counterclaimed for declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of nine patents BlackBerry is asserting in the Central District of California. That same day, Facebook took the more aggressive step of filing a new, separate patent infringement suit, Facebook v. BlackBerry, in the Northern District.
Facebook is asserting six patents that it has acquired from America Online, AT&T, BellSouth, HP and 3Com. They cover a grab bag of features: a messaging interface, wireless communication efficiency, GPS management, network security and other technology that BlackBerry allegedly incorporates into various enterprise software and service products.
Facebook, for example, contends that BlackBerry’s BBM Enterprise messaging platform infringes Facebook’s 8,429,231 patent on switching between text-based messaging and voice communications. Another Facebook patent, No. 6,356,841, describes tracking multiple GPS-equipped remote entities while conserving battery power. BlackBerry Radar, which is used to track truck fleets, infringes, Facebook contends.
Facebook is represented by the same Cooley team defending it before U.S. District Judge George Wu of the Central District of California. It includes partners Heidi Keefe, Michael Rhodes and Mark Weinstein. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has been representing BlackBerry before Wu.
Co-defendant Snap Inc. also counterclaimed for declaratory judgment on Tuesday, but has not filed a separate lawsuit.
Facebook and Snap have sought to dismiss many of BlackBerry’s patent claims as ineligible. Wu declined last month with the exception of a few claims challenged by Snap. But he indicated he might be amenable to knocking out more claims following claim construction early next year.
More recently the parties have been jousting over the local rules that will govern the case: Facebook and Snap wanted the Northern District Local Rules, which they believe would require BlackBerry to commit to its infringement theories earlier in the case. BlackBerry lobbied for Central District Judge Andrew Guilford’s patent rules, which allow a little more flexibility for amendments.
Wu chose Guilford’s rules, but with the caveat that legal authority based on the Northern District rules would govern disputes over whether a party had demonstrated good cause to amend a contention.