BlackBerry has sold 90 of its key patents to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
According to information reported by the daily “Globe and Mail”, BlackBerry has wanted for some time to divest itself of its intellectual property while it continues its efforts to refocus its activities on cybersecurity and various other technologies, abandoning the cellular telephony which has made its world famous.
The Ontario-based company assigned the patents to Huawei on Dec. 23, according to documents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. The Toronto daily puts into perspective that these 90 patents now owned by Huawei represent a tiny fraction of BlackBerry’s intellectual treasure.
It holds some 38,000 patents. However, the patents acquired by Huawei “cover many key advances” dating from the time when BlackBerry was the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones, writes the “Globe and Mail”. that this technological flight to a foreign country raises questions in terms of the federal government’s innovation strategy and even national security issues.
Among the patents sold, some were issued from 2007 to 2009 and cover innovations such as presenting text and images on a device according to its orientation, obtaining GPS data for geotagging digital photos and sharing data with a group of mobile devices, according to the Globe and Mail.
Other more recent patents cover “the application for access control on a communication device” and “a system and method for transferring data between electronic devices”, it was also indicated.
The details surrounding the sale of the patents, including the amounts obtained by BlackBerry, are not known. “The acquisition of patents by Huawei appears to include patents related to BlackBerry security.
There are so many creative and crafty alternatives to this full-fledged sale – like retaining defensive rights for Canadian businesses or critical cybersecurity assets – that could have been made in this transaction. But it takes understanding and political will, ”patent attorney Jim Hinton told the Toronto newspaper.
The latter is the co-founder of Innovation Asset Collective, an Ottawa-funded patent collective to help Canadian innovators. “We don’t comment on our business activities. Huawei has been in Canada for over a decade and employs over 1,000 people here. We remain committed to Canada, ”Huawei Canada spokesperson Alykhan Velshi wrote to The Globe and Mail by email.
For her part, a spokesperson for BlackBerry told the daily that this transaction is “very small … and is not part of an ongoing arrangement” .- 30-