At one point in time, BlackBerry was one of the smartphone industry's biggest forces, but nowadays, the company is merely a name that can be licensed out, and a collection patents. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that a company known as “Catapult IP Innovations” has acquired BlackBerry's patents for $600 million.
Catapult IP Innovations gathered funds through a $450 million loan, with the promise to pay the remaining $150 million in the years to come. As Arstechnica points out, this is a brand new company with no products to sell, it seems likely that the business plan will be to simply sue every tech company possible in order to obtain licensing fees for BlackBerry patents.
As part of the deal, all of BlackBerry's patents pertaining to “mobile devices, messaging and wireless networking” will be handed over to the new company. Previously, we've seen BlackBerry use its networking and BBM patents to sue tech giants like Facebook. Now, that will be the job of Catapult, as the company will look to recoup its $600 million investment.
While BlackBerry is selling off its patents, it will be granted a license to continue using them once this deal is complete. However, it seems unlikely that BlackBerry will be looking to get back into smartphone hardware or software development anytime soon.
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KitGuru Says: I'm more surprised that BlackBerry's patent portfolio was worth so much after a decade of decline for BlackBerry. Now, we'll just have to wait and see who gets sued first.