This month we chose to highlight some of the recent interesting patent litigation stories that caught the headlines. Each of these involve a prominent, well-known tech company that is faced with a patent infringement claim; Bumble, Facebook, and Apple. The plaintiffs in each case represent an interesting mix of companies: one is an operating company (Match Group), one is an NPE (Portal Communications), and one is a former operating company that has recently shifted its focus to IP licensing (BlackBerry).
"Tinder's parent company is suing Bumble for patent infringement"
Match Group (owners of Tinder, Match.com, and many other dating services) filed a lawsuit against Bumble that accuses the company of infringing on 2 of Tinder's patents. The lawsuit also mentions trademark infringement for use of the work "swiping." Interestingly, Match Group has reportedly shown past interest in acquiring Bumble and may still be looking to acquire the company by leveraging the lawsuit as a way to negotiate the price.
"BlackBerry weaponizes instant messaging patents, sues Facebook"
Amidst a flurry of obstacles that Facebook has faced recently, BlackBerry is suing the social network over infringement on 7 of its patents. Like other struggling tech companies in the past, BlackBerry has turned to patent licensing as a source of income. The lawsuit claims that Facebook owned applications Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger infringe on the patents which have claims that are "remarkably broad" according to Ars Technica.
"Apple facing patent lawsuit over Siri's natural language capabilities"
Portal Communications (a non-practicing entity) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit targets Apple's Siri virtual assistant and claims that the software infringes on a set of patents related to natural language voice query systems. Portal Communications took possession of the patents in January when they were transferred from The Intellection Group.