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Why Blackberry has taken Facebook to Court

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Blackberry has instituted a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook Inc. and its WhatsApp and Instagram apps. Blackberry Ltd claimed that Facebook Inc and its apps copied the technology and features from its popular messaging app, Blackberry Messenger (BBM). Blackberry is however seeking injunction relief and damages accounting for lost profits.

In a brief filed at the Federal Court in Los Angeles, BlackBerry said:

“Defendants created mobile messaging applications that co-opt BlackBerry’s innovations, using a number of the innovative security, user interface, and functionality enhancing features.”

Meanwhile Facebook’s Deputy General Counsel, Paul Grewal, while reacting to Blackberry legal action said:

“Blackberry’s suit sadly reflects the current state of its messaging business; having abandoned its efforts to innovate, Blackberry is now looking to tax the innovation of others.”

Not the first time 

The lawsuit seems to be one of several by the tech giant, as it seeks to monetize its pool of patents. BlackBerry sued Nokia Corp in February 2017, alleging infringement of patents relating to 3G and 4G wireless communications technology. That case is still pending in federal court in Delaware, USA.

Also, last year Qualcomm agreed to pay BlackBerry $940 million to resolve arbitration over royalty payments. In Oct 2017, BlackBerry announced a confidential settlement with Blu Products Inc, a Florida-based maker of low-cost mobile devices it had also sued for patent infringement.

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WhatsApp was founded by Brian Acton and Jan Koum in 2009, and acquired by Facebook in 2104 for $19 billion. The app currently has over 1 billion monthly users, making it one of the most popular in the world.

Fikayo has a degree in computer science with economics from Obafemi Awolowo University. ITIL v3 in IT service management. An alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Nairametrics had stinct in Project management, Telecommunications among others. Also training in Consulting and Investment banking from Edubridge Academy. He has very keen interest in Politics, Agri-business, private equity and global economics. He loves travelling and watching football. You can contact him via [email protected]

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Business

These industries drove business activities in September

The development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.

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Nigeria’s manufacturing sector contracts for 5th consecutive month – CBN , To test FX market, CBN pumps $50 million, CBN issues guidelines to Finance Institutions on establishment of Subsidiaries and SPVs, CBN injects $2.63 billion to defend naira in one month, CBN’s COVID-19 N50 billion targeted credit facility, CBN’s heterodox policies buoys credit growth, These industries drove business activities in September

Despite the fact that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared last Wednesday that the nation’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) contracted at 46.9 index points, some industries still drove business activities in September.

The industries are Electrical equipment, up from 33.3 index points in August to 66.7 index points; Transportation equipment from 53.8 to 58.1; and Paper products from 44.4 to 50 within the same period.

Though, the Cement industry and non-metalic mineral products dropped from 64.4 to 58.1 and 66.0 to 50.6 index points respectively, the sub-sectors still contributed to the business activities recorded in September.

This was disclosed by the apex bank in its September PMI report released on Wednesday.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that manufacturing PMI for August stood at 48.5 index points, indicating contraction in the sector for the fourth consecutive month.

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Also, out of the 14 surveyed subsectors, 5 sub-sectors reported expansion (above 50 index points thresholds), while the others contracted.

Meanwhile, the production level index for the manufacturing sector indicated contraction in September 2020 for the fifth consecutive month, as well as Employment level and Raw material inventories.

However, the manufacturing supplier delivery time index stood at 53.5 points in September 2020, indicating faster supplier delivery time for the fifth time.

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(READ  MORE: Manufacturing: Momentum in activities slows in January)

Is the nation coming out of the woods?

Though CBN revealed that only 4 sub-sectors reported expansion in September, contrary to the 6 sub-sectors recorded in August, it is imperative to note that this is an improvement when compared to manufacturing activities in May and June, or the performance in July which saw 12 sub-sectors decline, with one reporting no change, while one expanded.

The impressive performance of cement and other sub-sectors, according to the manufacturing PMI report, is attributable to the expansion in production, new orders, employment, and raw materials’ inventories.

A cursory look at the financials of key players in the industrial goods sector showed that despite the increased cost of higher energy pricing and adverse COVID-19 impacts on transport and naira devaluation, key cement manufacturers still recorded increased topline, driven by demand surge from domestic cement sales.

Back story: Nairametrics had reported on Wednesday that 9 subsectors reported contraction (below 50% threshold) in the reviewed month in the following order:

  • Petroleum & coal products
  • Primary metal
  • Furniture & related products
  • Printing & related support activities
  • Food, beverage & tobacco products
  • Textile, apparel, leather & footwear
  • Chemical & pharmaceutical products
  • Fabricated metal products and
  • Plastics & rubber products

The Non-manufacturing sector PMI stood at 41.9 points in September 2020, indicating contraction in nonmanufacturing PMI, for the sixth consecutive month.

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In all, the development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.

However, conditions within the domestic economy remain relatively tight, reflecting continued uncertainties as investors remain cautious of the lingering risk of the pandemic.

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Energy

Electricity tariff increase is suspended for 2 weeks

The FG and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks.

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Minister of Labour, Ngige, says labour demand will force government to sack workers

The Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks. This was part of the agreement reached between Labour and the Government as they deliberated to avert a nationwide strike that would have grounded an already deteriorating economy.

While the strike was over two major issues, an increase in electricity charges and fuel price respectively, the decision to call off the strike was based on the suspension of the electricity bills. The following terms of reference underpinned the agreement between Labour and the Government.

Terms of reference for suspension of electricity increase for 2 weeks.

Terms of reference “The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows: To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.”

  • Both parties are to examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective tariff adjustment
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.
  • To look into the NERC Act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.
  • The Technical sub-committee is to submit its report within two weeks.
  • During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments. “The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as stand-alone items:
  • The 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCOs Boards.
  • An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.
  • That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC, be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalize the process of tripartism and socio dialogue on socio-economic and major labour matters to forestall crisis.

What this means: The decision reached between the government and labour means the service reflective tariff regime which started on September 1, 2020, is effectively suspended. Customers are therefore no longer required to pay the service reflective tariffs and will revert to the previous MYTO tariffs of 2015.

  • By looking at the “different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate” it appears labour might be looking to recalibrating the tariffs for some Discos.
  • According to documents on the tariff order published by the NERC, some Discos have tariffs for residential customers that are as high as N62/kWh while it’s just under N54 for others.
  • Labour could also get involved in determining the veracity of the tariff bands that determines which customers pay what as electricity tariffs.

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Business

NLC, TUC suspend nationwide strike

Hike in electricity tariff to be suspended for 2 weeks, while new pump price of petrol remain unchanged.

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Ayuba Wabba, Why the FG should reverse 6% tenancy, lease stamp duty - NLC

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suspended the planned nationwide strike and protest that was to commence on Monday, September 28, 2020, over the recent hike in electricity tariff and petrol pump price.

This follows the agreement reached between the Federal Government and the organized labour during the meeting held by both parties which started on Sunday night and dragged on till the early hours of Monday morning.

The disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, through a tweet post on his twitter handle.

In the agreement between the Federal Government and organized labour, the hike in electricity tariff is to be suspended for a period of 2 weeks, while the new pump price of petrol is to remain unchanged.

According to the agreement, which was seen by Nairametrics, both parties agreed to set up a technical committee on Electricity Tariff reforms, comprising Ministries, Agencies, Departments, NLC and TUC, which will work for a duration of 2 weeks with effect from Monday, September 28, 2020, to examine the justification of the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff.

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This is due to the conflicting field reports which appear different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC, metering deployment, challenges, timelines for massive rollout.

The technical committee is to be headed by the Minister of State for Labour and Labour, Festus Keyamo.

Other members of the committee include the Minister of State Power, Godwin Jedy-Agba, Executive Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), James Momoh, Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari as the Secretary.

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Also in the committee are Onoho’Omhen Ebhohimhen, Joe Ajaero (NLC), Chris Okonkwo (TUC) and a representative of electricity distribution companies.

The terms of reference for the technical committee include;

  • To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments.
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and their different electricity vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advice government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the 6 million meters.
  • To look into the NERC act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.

 

 

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