BlackBerry Settles Patent Dispute And Starts Lay Offs

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BlackBerry does some housekeeping ahead of its expected sale

BlackBerry has done some housekeeping ahead of its expected sale, having settled some outstanding patent litigation and started the programme of lay-offs at the company that will eventually see it slash its global workforce by 40 percent.

Patent licensing firm Wi-LAN had accused BlackBerry of infringing a patent relating to Bluetooth technology in its Bold, Torch, Pearl and Storm handsets as well as a separate LTE Patent.

BlackBerry has now acquired licenses for these patents and will continue negotiations regarding other wireless technologies.

BlackBerry housekeeping

BlackBerry Z30 Front Square“As part of the agreement, BlackBerry has obtained a license to certain patents in suit in Florida. As a result, all litigations between the companies in Florida will be dismissed with prejudice,” said Wi-LAN. “In addition, the agreement calls for the dismissal, without prejudice, of all litigation between the companies in Texas. The parties will pursue licensing discussions regarding certain other wireless technologies.”

The struggling Canadian manufacturer has also handed termination notices to 300 staff at its head office in Waterloo, Ontario, the first of the 4,500 anticipated job cuts announced last month. BlackBerry thanked the affected employees for their hard work and recognised the difficulty of the news.

BlackBerry is currently up for sale and has signed a preliminary agreement with its largest shareholder Fairfax Holdings. However reports suggest  Google, Microsoft, Intel, SAP, Cisco and a number of venture capital firmsare eyeing up bids as concerns about Fairfax’s ability to raise the required funds grow.

BlackBerry has had a bumpy year! Try our 2013 BlackBerry quiz!

BlackBerry Z30

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BlackBerry Z30

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