Patent Fight

BlackBerry wins German patent injunctions against Facebook

Facebook has lost a case of patent infringement against BlackBerry in Germany, where the preliminary verdict of the court was in favour of BlackBerry. In its current form, Facebook may no longer offer some of its own apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram in Germany. In nine cases, the court ruled for BlackBerry.

Facebook can appeal to the Munich Higher Regional Court and is currently challenging the validity of those patents before the Federal Patent Court of Germany.

The Munich I Regional Court handed down injunctions over four of five patents. These are the five BlackBerry patents-in-suit, some of which they claim to be infringed by only one or two of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and some of which they claim are infringed by all three.

BlackBerry has so far prevailed on all of them but the fourth one (“method and system for displaying group chat sessions on wireless mobile terminals”), over which even the Munich court had sufficient validity doubts that BlackBerry felt forced to further narrow the claims during trial. In that case, no immediate decision was possible and there will be another trial over that one on March 12, 2020.

Facebook said: “We plan to adapt our products accordingly so that we can continue to offer them in Germany.”

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