BlackBerry has a ton of patents under its belt for tech that they have developed over the years. This is pretty much the case for most companies, but it appears that BlackBerry has decided to sell off its mobile and messaging patents and it could be bad news for a lot of tech companies.
This is because the company has sold it off to another company called Catapult IP Innovations. While companies selling or licensing off their patents isn’t new, the fact that Catapult IP Innovations doesn’t sell or make anything of their own has led to speculation that they could leverage the patents they bought from BlackBerry to sue other tech companies and turn a profit.
The deal is worth $600 million which Catapult IP Innovations bought using a $450 million loan, with the remainder to be paid back in three years. As ArsTechnica notes, this essentially leaves Catapult IP Innovations with $150 million in debt and since they don’t make their own products or sell anything, the only possible way for them to start making money would be to sue everyone they believe could be in violation of their patents.
There are many companies like Catapult IP Innovations who buy or file patents simply for the sole purposes of suing companies and trying to get them to settle to avoid the hassle and costs of a lengthy court battle. Many companies such as Apple have had their fair share of encounters with such entities, so with this sale, we wouldn’t be surprised if we start hearing more of these stories in the future.