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BlackBerry Plans to Settle Shareholder Lawsuit Over BlackBerry 10, Avoiding Litigation

BlackBerry plans to negotiate a settlement to an eight-year lawsuit alleging that the company deceived shareholders by inflating demand for its BlackBerry 10.

In U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday, BlackBerry lawyers and shareholders asked the presiding judge to delay the trial so they can negotiate a preliminary settlement that requires the judge’s approval.

Jury selection was supposed to start on Thursday. Attorneys for shareholders did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While the BlackBerry 10 received positive reviews from critics, the public preferred Apple’s Android and iPhone smartphones, which ultimately led to BlackBerry’s decision in 2016 to stop making phones.

Shareholders accused the Waterloo, Ontario-based cybersecurity company of hiding the true prospects for BlackBerry 10 sales in public statements in 2013, leading to share price inflation. This February, BlackBerry said it would sell its legacy patents, mostly related to mobile devices, messaging and wireless networks, for $600 million (roughly Rs. 4,490 crore) to a special purpose vehicle set up to acquire the company’s patent assets.

BlackBerry said the Catapult IP Innovations vehicle deal will not impact customers’ use of its products or services.

The move comes just weeks after BlackBerry stopped servicing its once-ubiquitous business smartphones carried by executives, politicians and legions of fans in the early 2000s.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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