A couple of months ago we learned that BlackBerry CEO John Chen decided a good way to arrest his company's decline was to go into patent lawsuit mode. His first victim was rival manufacturer BLU, against which BlackBerry filed two separate infringement lawsuits covering 15 different patents. One of the suits was mainly based on software while the other looked at hardware, specifically relating to phone signal transmission.
Before filing the suits, BlackBerry said it approached BLU with terms for licensing the patents, but that the offer was turned down, and so legal action was taken. This has been seen as a test case for BlackBerry before going after bigger rivals, and the dispute appears to have been settled amicably now, with a license agreement finally being struck. The terms of the deal between the two firms are confidential, so all we know is that BLU will be making payments to BlackBerry to use its technology.
BlackBerry's senior director of intellectual property licensing, Jerald Gnuschke, was understandably pleased, saying, "The consummation of this agreement enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market." That statement confirms what we already suspected: BlackBerry will now scour its patent portfolio, consisting of around 40,000 patents, for other litigation opportunities. It's not going to be pretty, but when you're on your last legs like BlackBerry clearly is, I guess you have to do what's necessary.