Canada’s BlackBerry, a former iconic player in the smartphone market, officially confirmed earlier this week that the company had sold 90 smartphone-related patents to China’s Huawei Technologies. The company stopped manufacturing smartphones in 2016 after its market share was virtually within error limits, however, BlackBerry smartphones have not disappeared since then, and according to last year’s news, we will see a new device under the umbrella of the iconic brand again this year.
Regarding the transfer of patent rights, BlackBerry said it was merely a transaction involving an extremely narrow portfolio, which was approved by the competent authorities last year, and accordingly, the Chinese side had access to the affected technologies last December.
The Canadian company, which now only develops and sells software solutions, has been making money from registered patents on smartphones since the middle of the previous decade, with a division created in 2014 working virtually only to sell or license these rights.
However, the current transaction is a particularly sensitive area due to Huawei’s perception of North America, as some experts say it is not very fortunate to transfer valuable patents to a company declared to be a national security risk entity in the United States.
However, BlackBerry is not the first major deal with Chinese players, so the company was the first to license the BlackBerry brand to Chinese TCL after the completion of smartphone production, producing blackberry logo devices from 2017 to 2020 – with moderate success. After the expiration of the license period, the parties did not extend the agreement, however, at least one new BlackBerry model, an American startup, OnwardMobility, could still be launched this year.
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