Thursday, June 8, 2023

Blackberry to Sell Patents for Mobile Devices in New $900 Million Deal After Sale to Catapult Collapses

BlackBerry said on Tuesday it would sell patents, primarily related to its mobile devices, for up to $900 million (roughly Rs. 7,441 crore) after the Canadian software company scrapped an earlier deal with Catapult IP Innovations.

Malikie Innovations will buy the patents and pay $170 million (roughly Rs. 1,405 crore) in cash on deal closing, and another $30 million (roughly Rs. 248 crore) three years later. BlackBerry will also get annual cash royalties from the profits generated from the patents, relating to its messaging and wireless networking among others.

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Malikie is a newly formed unit of intellectual property monetization firm Key Patent Innovations.

Blackberry said last year it was exploring other options to sell its patents as the planned deal with Catapult IP Innovations Inc was taking longer than usual to close, leading to a loss in exclusivity.

“Catapult was unable to secure financing that would have enabled it to complete the previously announced transaction on amended terms that were acceptable to BlackBerry,” the Canadian company said in a statement.

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Once known for its phones with a tiny QWERTY physical keyboard and the BBM instant messaging service, BlackBerry’s core businesses today are cybersecurity and software used by automakers.

Last year, the company pulled the plug on service for its smartphones, a culmination of years of market share loss to Apple’s iPhones and rival Android devices.

In February 2022, Blackberry had said it would sell its legacy patents primarily related to mobile devices, messaging and wireless networking for $600 million (roughly Rs. 4,490 crore) to a special purpose vehicle formed to acquire the company’s patent assets.

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© Thomson Reuters 2023

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