BlackBerry Ltd, Cisco Enter Patent Cross-Licensing Deal

BlackBerry Ltd, Cisco Enter Patent Cross-Licensing Deal
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BlackBerry and Cisco signed a long-term patent cross-licensing agreement covering the companies’ respective products and technologies this week. Though the specific terms of the deal were not revealed, it is known that the Canadian firm will get a license fee from Cisco.

BlackBerry, Cisco sign a cross-licensing deal

BlackBerry and Cisco go back a long way when it comes to technical cooperation, and with the new partnerships, both intend to collaborate further.

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BlackBerry’s Vice President of Intellectual Property and Licensing, Dr. Mark Kokes, noted the agreement with Cisco highlights the company’s “broad and foundational patent portfolio.” A formal deal will help both tech firms to concentrate more on “innovation and continued technical cooperation,” thus giving more time to develop useful products and services, “without the potential for patent disputes.”

Cisco’s Vice President of Intellectual Property, Dan Lang, also expressed similar sentiments, saying a cross-licensing deal will help both the firms to work with “freedom,” removing concerns over “patent litigation.” Lang added that the agreement with BlackBerry underscores that Cisco’s patent portfolio is one of best in the telecommunications and networking industry.

BlackBerry Q1 earnings

Separately, BlackBerry posted its fiscal first-quarter earnings today, reporting a net loss of $0.05 per share on $658 million in revenue, compared to the consensus estimate of a net loss of $0.03 per share on $679.06 million in revenue. For the same quarter last year, the Canadian firm posted a net loss of $0.11 per share on $966.00 million in revenue.

Despite the earnings miss, a jump in software revenue cheered investors. Software revenue for the quarter more than doubled from a year ago to $137 million. A sharp gain in the software revenue will ease the fears of investors and analysts, who were concerned with the company’s ability to transform from a hardware to more of a software and service provider. Smartphone sales, as was expected, dipped to $263 million from $379 million year-over-year.

After the results, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that he is pleased with the robust performance of the company’s “software and technology business,” which he considers as key to “BlackBerry’s future growth.”

Following the announcement of the results, BlackBerry shares gained as much as 8% in premarket trading. Year to date, the stock is down 16%, while over the past 12-months, stock has lost 6%.

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