BlackBerry sued Kik back in 2010 for allegedly infringing on its instant messaging patents. It claimed that Kik made “false and/or misleading statements” and that it caused “confusion” in the market between BBM and Kik. It has now been announced that both parties have settled the patent lawsuit out of court and that there is no legal action pending between both companies. BlackBerry confirms that the case has been dismissed, but doesn’t make any comment. Terms of the settlement have not been released.
Kik now has more than 90 million users around the globe, more than BBM’s 60 million. Most people who use Kik probably won’t know about the fact that it was launched by Ted Livingston, who worked at BlackBerry. Livingston told The Globe and Mail that he tried convincing BlackBerry back then to make BBM cross-platform, but the company didn’t agree. He begun developing Kik back in 2010 and kept BlackBerry abreast of the developments, even offering to cease working on Kik if BlackBerry decided to make BBM cross-platform. Kik was ultimately launched in the fall of 2010 and ended up getting 1 million users in the first 15 days alone. Now it has surpassed BBM by a large margin and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. On the other hand, BlackBerry has finally seen the inevitable and decided to release BBM for iOS and Android, though the initial roll out got plagued with a number of difficulties.