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Huawei boosts IP portfolio with Blackberry patents purchase

a blackberry phone placed on a table with a blank screen
January 20, 2021

Blackberry reportedly sold 90 of its patents to Huawei Technologies as part of the company’s broader strategy to streamline its operations by selling thousands of its patents.

Blackberry is Canada’s biggest patent holder with a portfolio of around 38,000 patents. The company plans to offload more of its intellectual property (IP) in areas where Blackberry no longer operates such as social collaboration tools and mobile instant messaging.

While details concerning the deal have not been disclosed by the companies, the transaction is reportedly not part of an ongoing arrangement.

Data from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicate that the ownership change happened on December 23, 2020, according to Canadian media. The sold patents reportedly cover patents dating from 2007 to 2009 when Blackberry was one of the leading smartphone makers in the world.

The patents include innovations such as the presentation of images and text according to device orientation, data sharing to a group of mobile devices, obtaining GPS data for geotagging digital photos, control request access on a communication device and “system and method for transferring data between electronic devices”.

Huawei also acquired 18 patents from Japan-based auto supplier Denso last December.

Separately, Huawei is continuing to expand its IP portfolio with a patent application for technology concerning an under screen camera and bezel display according to a Dutch publication last January 12.

The company has also been granted a patent on a method of controlling drones through a specialized system comprising modules that are sent through an AI-powered chip by Chinese authorities this January.

Huawei has been the subject of scrutiny with the US increasing restrictions against it over concerns of national security and spying. The US has added Huawei and 152 of its affiliates to an economic blacklist, according to Reuters.

Despite the restrictions against the company’s technology in the US, Huawei appears to be pushing forward with the expansion of its patent portfolio not only through its own operations but also through its acquisition of patents from other companies.

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