RIM sues Blackberry developer for patent infringement

Everyone complains about Apple’s walled garden. If Apple doesn’t like it, the app doesn’t get into the App Store. What would happen if Apple decided that apps that “duplicate functionality” were also infringing on patents and decided to sue developers? A shit-storm, that’s what would happen. The media would be going absolutely hysterical on the news, and we would be reading about it for months.

Well, what would happen if RIM did the same thing? It seems like the answer is barely a blip registers. But, that’s exactly why we’re writing this today.

RIM has not only kicked Kik Messenger out of the Blackberry app store for “breaching contractual obligations,” but they’re also trying to file a patent lawsuit against them.

Developing for the Playbook is going to kick real ass, isn’t it, but probably not in the way most hoped.

Kik Messenger is a competitor to Blackberry’s BlackBerry Messenger application (BBM). Clearly RIM feels threatened enough to file a lawsuit against a developer who’s only trying to make their platform a little bit better. RIM does have a slight reason to be a little bit nervous, as Kik Messenger has had 2.5 million people sign up to their service within a month of going live. If that’s not an indication that people think BBM is dated, I don’t know what would be.  The great thing about Kik Messenger is that it’s across all platforms — iPhone, Android, and Blackberry.  That’s why Blackberry’s worried, and they probably should be.

The funny thing is that it’s almost as if Blackberry thinks they invented communication indicators like the “…is currently typing” notice in ICQ from a decade ago, and the “email received and read” notifications that Outlook had over a decade ago.

What a joke.

Apple might have a “closed garden” but at least they aren’t running around suing developers every time they get chance. RIM’s doing a great job of attracting developers to their products by doing this. I know I’d be lining up my innovative applications for RIM’s Blackberry app store if I was a developer. There’s nothing like a good old fashioned lawsuit to get some media attention.

The sad thing is that the Kik Messenger developer was quite the RIM fan. Here’s an excerpt from the Kik Messenger blog:

RIM sued us yesterday. A courier came to drop off a package. I opened up the letter to see a stack of papers with a big gold seal on the first page. Plaintiff: Research in Motion Inc. Defendant: Kik Interactive Inc. RIM, the company I worked for as a co-op student. The company I loved. The company that I thought could benefit from Kik’s vision for a mobile community. The company that placed Kik on Blackberry App World without issue. The company I shared our entire plan with every step of the way, is suing us.

I’m not afraid. I’m not surprised. But I am disappointed.

RIM, I wish it could have been different. I wish you would have returned our calls. I wish we could have worked together to bring great things to all of our users.

Maybe next time.

Good Job RIM, you make it pretty hard for this fellow Canadian to support you.

Article Via David Lam

Joshua is the Content Marketing Manager at BuySellAds. He’s also the founder of Macgasm.net. And since all that doesn’t quite give him enough content to wrangle, he’s also a technology journalist in his spare time, with bylines at PCWorld, Macworld… Full Bio