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BlackBerry Flexes Patent Muscles, Sues Avaya

The device maker, which is putting greater emphasis on software licensing, claims Avaya is infringing on eight patents in multiple products.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen over the past several months has made software licensing a key part of his efforts to drive revenue in the struggling mobile device maker, saying he wants to better monetize the company’s more than 38,000 patents.Now BlackBerry is suing Avaya, claiming the networking and communications technology provider has infringed on eight of its patents. According to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas late last month, Avaya is using BlackBerry technology in an array of its offerings in such product lines as unified communications (UC), network switches and routers, communications servers and client software, telepresence video conferencing systems, and software for mobile device communications.In the 115-page lawsuit1, BlackBerry officials said that “Avaya infringes multiple BlackBerry patents by using, without authorization, BlackBerry’s proprietary technology in a number of Avaya’s commercial products and services. By this action, BlackBerry seeks to put an end to Avaya’s unlawful conduct.”Specifically, BlackBerry officials are claiming Avaya is infringing on eight patents that were issued between 1998 and 2011. They cover a range of capabilities, with two concerning what the company refers to “significance maps” for coding video data. Others touch on features for displaying messages, determining the location of mobile devices, decoding and compression of speech, call routing, cryptographic public keys, and wireless phones and PBX networks. BlackBerry officials reportedly contacted Avaya about the disputed patents in December 2015. Avaya officials have not commented on the lawsuit. The filing comes as BlackBerry officials continue to look for ways to shore up the financial picture of a company that at one time was a top-tier mobile phone maker.

However, it has since been surpassed by Apple with its iPhone and other smartphone makers such as Samsung that run Google’s Android mobile operating system. In early 2006 before Apple released its first iPhone half of all smartphones sold were BlackBerry devices. Three years later, BlackBerry held just 20 percent of the global market.In recent years, BlackBerry officials have put a greater focus on the company’s software capabilities. In the most recent financial quarter, BlackBerry generated $424 million, 39 percent of which came from software and services and 25 percent from service access fees. Thirty-six percent came from mobility solutions.The company also lost $670 million during the three months, more than the $238 million it lost in the previous quarter.During a conference call June 23 to discuss the financial results, Chen spoke about efforts to focus more on licensing its patents to smartphone and other device makers to help grow revenue. He talked about the move to create a software licensing program within the company’s Mobility Solutions Business, an initiative that was officially launched Aug.

3.”A lot of the good stuff that we do in devices like the BlackBerry Hub, some of our antenna technology, power management technology and the software, the list goes on. I’m willing to license to other OEMs, phone manufacturers, device manufacturers, even equipment people,” Chen said, according to a transcript on Seeking Alpha2.However, he pushed back at the idea that BlackBerry could shed its mobile device business while growing the software licensing efforts.”I really, really believe that we could make money out of our device business,” Chen said, adding that the software and licensing efforts were created to augment the device unit. “So let’s see how we could develop this. As I told everybody, I think within a couple of quarters we will be making profit in the whole Mobility Solution Group.”That determination to continue building devices was evidenced by the launch last week of the DTEK503, a highly secure touch-screen Android smartphone that doesn’t include BlackBerry’s well-known QWERTY keyboard. It’s the company’s second Android phone, and it will go on sale Aug.

8 for $299.


  1. ^ 115-page lawsuit (
  2. ^ transcript on Seeking Alpha (
  3. ^ launch last week of the DTEK50 (

LG’s V20 to Be First Smartphone to Ship With Android 7.0 Nougat

The new V20 will be the first smartphone to debut the upcoming Android 7.0 operating system out of the box, according to LG.

LG’s V20 flagship smartphone, its replacement for its 10-month-old V10 handset (pictured), will be the first smartphone that will be preloaded and ship with the upcoming Android 7.0 Nougat operating system when the handset is unveiled in the third quarter of 2016, according to LG.The phone’s operating system selection was announced by LG on Aug.

1.”We are excited to offer the first phone in the world to feature Nougat out of the box1,” Juno Cho, the president of LG Electronics, said in a statement. “The LG V20 upgrades and extends its predecessor’s cutting-edge multimedia features a step further, providing distinctive mobile experience and sets a new standard for premium phones for consumers.”The new handset “will be tuned to take advantage of many of the best features of Nougat, including Vulkan-supported graphics for more immersive gaming while also delivering better battery performance with Doze,” the company said in the statement. “Consumers will also enjoy new productivity features such as Direct Reply, which lets users respond quickly to text messages or update tasks using the notification interface.” No additional details or specifications of the upcoming LG V20 smartphone were released at this time. LG’s first Android phone in 2009 ran Android 1.5 Cupcake, according to LG, and LG and Google have been collaborating since then on their mobile innovations. Both companies collaborated on a series of Nexus smartphones starting with the Nexus 4 in 2012, which was shipped with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the Nexus 5 that was released in 2013 with Android 4.4 KitKat and the Nexus 5X that was unveiled in 2015 featuring Android 6.0 Marshmallow, according to LG. The companies have also offered smart wearables together such as LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, which is an Android Wear smartwatch that includes cellular-based connectivity.The company’s existing flagship LG V10 smartphone2 was unveiled in October 2015 with a host of innovations, including a main display screen that also included a smaller second display for frequently accessed information, dual front-facing selfie cameras that give different viewing angles in photos and new manual video controls to give users lots of flexibility when capturing video. The V10 is also ruggedized and built with high-grade stainless steel and a silicone skin that meets military MIL-STD-810G standards for drops on concrete, according to an earlier eWEEK story.The V10 smartphone features a main 5.7-inch quarter-high-definition (QHD) In-Plane Switching (IPS) Quantum display and a second 2.1-inch screen above it that can be set up as an “always-on” display to provide updates without shortening battery life. The smaller screen can be used to display the weather, time, date and battery icon when the main display is off, and it can be used as a launching area for shortcuts or favorite apps when the main screen is being used.The handset has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 64GB of built-in eMMC ROM storage and a 16MP rear-facing camera. The device runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.The 5-megapixel dual front cameras include two separate lenses that can capture standard 80-degree or 120-degree wide-angle selfies and can be easily selected by the user. Also included is a multiview recording feature that can capture different angles using all three cameras at once.LG’s G5 all-metal modular smartphone3 was unveiled in April. The LG G5 premium smartphone debuted at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in February and features an all-metal body, a 5.3-inch quad HD IPS display, a modular design, and line of attachments and accessories that bring virtual reality capabilities and more to users.

The all-metal design of the LG G5 comes from input from customers who told the company that they wanted to see a device covered with metal rather than the leather-covered back of the previous LG G4 smartphone, according to an earlier eWEEK story.The G5 features a Qualcomm 820 octa-core processor, 4GB of memory, 32GB of on-board storage, a microSD slot for expanded storage up to 200GB and the Android Marshmallow 6.0 operating system. The G5 continues the G4’s tradition of having a removable and replaceable battery. The G5 also has one SIM card slot, dual rear cameras a 16-megapixel camera with a 78-degree field of view and an 8MP wide-angle camera with a 135-degree field of view and an 8MP front-facing camera.The phone’s attachable modular accessories include an LG 360 camera module that features two 180-degree cameras that can create 360-degree images, an audio Hi-Fi Plus attachment for improved sound capabilities for music and video audio, and an LG Cam Plus grip, which includes shutter and video camera buttons, a jog dial for video zoom and an embedded battery with another 1,100mAh of power for extended use.

Also available is a 360-degree, full HD 1080p virtual reality headset that connects to the smartphone with a USB-C cord.


  1. ^ Nougat out of the box (
  2. ^ LG V10 smartphone (
  3. ^ LG’s G5 all-metal modular smartphone (

BlackBerry DTEK50 Phone Designed for High Security

BlackBerry, which has been producing ultra-secure mobile devices for years, has unveiled its latest smartphone, the DTEK50, which it is touting as “the world’s most secure Android smartphone.” The $299 handset, which goes on sale Aug.

8, is an ultra-high-security phone that comes without the iconic physical QWERTY keyboard that’s been featured on so many BlackBerry devices in the past. It’s the company’s second Android phone, coming after the $649 Priv, which debuted in September 2015. The DTEK50, aimed at enterprise and consumer users, is available immediately for preorder through The handset includes typical smartphone features, such as front and rear cameras, a microSD slot for additional storage and more, but its biggest boast from BlackBerry involves its robust security features, which include encryption capabilities for all user and business information and data, built-in malware protection and data backup, wipe and restore capabilities. Peruse this eWEEK slide show for more details about the BlackBerry DTEK50 smartphone.

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