Three years ago, Kik Interactive launched it’s cross-platform messaging app, which was subsequently modeled after BBM. After Kik became an immediate success, garnering over 1 million signups in the first two weeks, BlackBerry slapped the company with a lawsuit.
BlackBerry’s patent infringement lawsuit against Kik claimed it made “false and/or misleading statements” and caused “confusion” in the marketplace between BBM and Kik.
The founder of Kik, Ted Livingston, originally worked for BlackBerry as an engineer while a Mechatronics student at University of Waterloo. Livingston alleges he attempted to persuade BlackBerry executives to expand BBM to other platforms with the rise of iOS and Android popularity.
“They absolutely refused and they said, ‘No, we won’t do that,’” he told The Globe & Mail in a recent interview. “To be fair, from their perspective it was hard. They said, ‘People are buying BlackBerrys for BBM. That was a real risk.”
Due to BlackBerry’s complacency, Livingston sought out to design a cross-platform messaging tool, which birthed Kik. Today, Kik has 90 million users, while BlackBerry has only 60 million which is eroding.
“BBM was the killer app, and chat apps are still the killer apps of consumer smartphones,” Mr. Livingston said. “I think if RIM had spun BBM out of the company and let an independent company run with it [as a cross-platform service] it would be big enough to rival Facebook.”
Details of the terms of agreement from the lawsuit are unknown. However, in an e-mailed statement to The Globe & Mail, Mr. Livingston said “It’s great to finally close this chapter in Kik’s history.”
via The Globe & Mail