RIM sues Kik for patent violation

Posted by Liam Britten

RIM is involved in another fight, and this time it isn’t another CEO catfight between Jim Balsillie and Steve Jobs.

They’re suing Waterloo start-up Kik, the popular mobile messaging service over a patent violation. Kik, which provides a service similar to RIM’s BBM service, complete with “sent,” “received” and “read” tags on messages, had their app pulled from the BlackBerry App World last month. It seems pretty likely that the patent suit is over these tags, although exact details haven’t come out yet.

From The Globe and Mail:

In a blog post following RIM's decision to boot the app from its store, Kik CEO Ted Livingston noted the perceived similarities between his company's product and BBM.

“Some people have suggested that we’re “too similar” to RIM’s instant messaging product, and that somehow this is behind their decision. We would be surprised and disappointed if there is any truth to this, as RIM has always championed the BlackBerry ecosystem as an open platform. However, if true, the implications would go well beyond Kik to the entire mobile community, users and developers alike,” Mr. Livingston said.

VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall also covered the story, and he has an interesting take on what this lawsuit could mean for the future of RIM:

Here’s the bigger worry for RIM: With this move, is it inadvertently poisoning its own ecosystem? If people know they can work at RIM and then start a successful startup that rides on top of the BlackBerry platform, RIM becomes a more attractive place to work and BlackBerry becomes a more attractive platform to develop on. By making an example of Kik and its chief executive, Ted Livingston, a 23-year-old former strategist at BBM who set up shop across the street from its headquarters, RIM could be shooting itself in the foot for extremely questionable gain. Yes, RIM’s always been protective of its intellectual property, but as Apple’s iPhone and now more recently Google with its Android platform have shown, you have to leave something on the table for innovators to seize.

Details are still sketchy, but we’ll update as soon as we hear more.

Company:
BlackBerry
Website:
http://www.blackberry.com
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution in 1999. Since then, BlackBerry products and services have continued to change the way millions of people around the world stay connected. With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry. Not only did we introduce a... more

Company:
Kik Interactive
Website:
http://www.kik.com
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Kik Interactive was founded in 2009 by a group of engineers with an endless vision to create a world of seamless mobile computing. In April 2010, Kik released the universal, free texting app for BlackBerry and iPhone, empowering users to message any of their friends in real time without paying unruly SMS fees. Chat is the foundation for the unfolding Kik community, which will also soon include music, pictures and... more


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Liam Britten

Liam Britten

Liam Britten is a writer and editor with a journalism background operating out of Vancouver. In addition to his work at Techvibes, he has been published in student publications across Canada, as well as local newspapers such as The MapleRidge-Pitt Meadows TIMES and The Langley Advance. An aficionado for the finer things in life — such as video games and sports — Liam is plugged into the tech... more



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