Samsung could be interested in BlackBerry’s patents



BlackBerry is ranked 20th on the list of top patent grants

In Part 1 of this series, we suggested Samsung (SSNLF) might be interested in buying BlackBerry (BBRY) to overcome competitive pressures in the enterprise segment. But there’s another reason Samsung could be interested in BlackBerry—its lucrative patents.

According to a report from IFI Claims Patent Services, BlackBerry moved up nine places to rank 20th in terms of patents granted in 2013. A total of 1,334 patents were granted to BlackBerry in 2013, as you can see in the chart below. The report notes that IBM (IBM) continued to lead with 6,809 patents granted. Meanwhile, Qualcomm (QCOM) made its debut in the top ten.

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BlackBerry would support Samsung in patent battles

Patents have always been a contentious issue among mobile device companies. Last year, Apple (AAPL) and Samsung were involved in a fierce patent battle. In a major case filed by Apple last year, the company sought $2.2 billion from Samsung in a patent trial.

Google (GOOG)(GOOGL), meanwhile, acquired Motorola in 2012 mainly for its patents and to legally protect itself from competitors. For more on this story, read Motorola deal to boost Lenovo’s presence in smartphone markets.

BlackBerry would provide Samsung the trove of patents it would need to protect itself in any legal battle with Apple.

BlackBerry’s security advantage

At the same time, BlackBerry technology would also help Samsung improve the security of its smartphones. Samsung and BlackBerry are already involved in a partnership to provide secure enterprise solutions with KNOX, which integrates BlackBerry’s BES12 with Samsung’s mobile devices. For more on this topic, read BlackBerry forms partnerships to offer end-to-end security. Acquiring BlackBerry would give Samsung direct access to security features that could be embedded in Samsung’s smartphones.


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