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BlackBerry Sells Legacy Patents; Reinforces Cybersecurity and MSSP Partner Focus

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BlackBerry is selling its legacy mobile, messaging and wireless networking patents to Catapult IP Innovations Inc. for  $600 million. BlackBerry expects the patent sale process to be completed within nine months or so.

This is technology M&A deal number 132 that MSSP Alert and sister site ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2022. See more than 1,000 technology M&A deals for 2022, 2021, and 2020 listed here.

The move reinforces BlackBerry's continued focus on cybersecurity, the Internet of Things, and partnerships with MSSPs (managed security services providers).

Indeed, BlackBerry CEO John Chen pivoted the Canadian technology company from smartphones toward security software and services several years ago. Key moves include acquiring Cylance in 2018.

Fast forward to 2022, and BlackBerry now secures more than 500 million endpoints including -- 195 million vehicles, the company asserts. BlackBerry's overall focus spans security, endpoint management, encryption, and embedded systems.

BlackBerry Security Strategy: Four Market Differentiators?

Chen, in a December 2021 earnings call with Wall Street analysts, said BlackBerry differentiates from rivals in four ways:

  1. BlackBerry’s focus on prevention contrasts to EDR (endpoint detection and response) rivals — which aim to “remediate threats after the fact,” he said.
  2. The Cylance AI engine is “the most mature in the market, having learned from the analysis of trillions of files and literally identify over 20 billion characteristics,” he asserted.
  3. BlackBerry’s endpoint protection works both offline and online, so  “endpoints are protected 24×7 and don’t rely on cloud connection,” he said.
  4. “Nobody in this space knows mobile as better than Blackberry,” he said.

Still, BlackBerry faces intense competition from MDR, EDR, XDR and cloud security companies worldwide.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.