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

BlackBerry plans to negotiate a settlement of an eight-year-old lawsuit claiming it defrauded shareholders by overstating demand for its BlackBerry 10.

In a Wednesday filing with the US District Court in Manhattan, lawyers for BlackBerry and the shareholders asked the presiding judge to adjourn the trial so they could negotiate a preliminary settlement, which requires the judge’s approval.

Jury selection had been scheduled to begin on Thursday. Lawyers for the shareholders did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While the BlackBerry 10 won positive reviews from critics, the public preferred Android-based smartphones and Apple’s iPhone, eventually leading to BlackBerry’s 2016 decision to stop making phones.

Shareholders accused the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which now focuses on cybersecurity, of concealing BlackBerry 10’s true sales prospects in public statements during 2013, resulting in an inflated share price. In February this year, BlackBerry said it will sell its legacy patents primarily related to mobile devices, messaging, and wireless networking for $600 million (roughly Rs. 4,490 crore) to a special purpose vehicle formed to acquire the company’s patent assets.

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

The move comes weeks after BlackBerry pulled the plug on service for its once ubiquitous business smartphones, which were toted by executives, politicians, and legions of fans in the early 2000s.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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