There was a time when BlackBerry was trying to develop the third largest mobile operating system. But now, it is stepping away from the sight of mobile phone users. Surprisingly, today, BlackBerry announced that it had reached an agreement to sell product patents primarily related to mobile devices, messaging, and wireless networks to Catapult IP Innovations Inc. for $600 million.
Reuters reports that when the deal is closed, the company will get $450 million in cash and a promissory note for $150 million.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company said the deal does not include patents that are critical to its core business. BlackBerry will still license the patents it sells, and customers’ use of its products or services will not be affected in any way.
With the expected return on investment, these patents are likely to be used to encourage device makers to pay royalties, possibly through litigation.
“The patents BlackBerry is talking about are primarily related to mobile devices, messaging and wireless networks and the deal does not affect the use of BlackBerry products, solutions or services.”
The company said the deal is subject to meeting all regulatory conditions under the U.S. Hart – Scott – Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and the Investment Canada Act, which could take up to 210 days.
Delaware-based Catapult is a special company, described as a “special purpose vehicle created specifically to acquire BlackBerry’s patent assets,” and will use a consortium led by Toronto-based Third Eye Capital, according to the presentation. The consortium includes a Canadian pension fund and it is the company that financed the deal.
BlackBerry Is Gradually Withdrawing From Mobile Phones Field
Earlier, according to Android Authority reports, CrackBerry forum members found that some BlackBerry Android applications are about to stop serving. This simply means that BlackBerry Android phone users will face some difficulties.
The Password Keeper, DTEK, BlackBerry Launcher, Privacy Shade, and Keyboard apps will all reportedly be out of maintenance on August 31, 2022.
Android Authority noted that the outage will affect Android devices such as the BlackBerry KeyOne, BlackBerry Key2, BlackBerry Key2 LE, and Motioowners.
By the way, BlackBerry’s patents have been used to sue other companies in the past, such as the March 2018 legal action against Facebook over Facebook Messenger.
On one hand, all this news is quite reasonable. We know that the former king of business smartphones has no lead in the pencil and can’t make competition with other smartphone makers. On the other hand, even recently, we have been receiving some rumors as BlackBerry phones would return soon.