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BlackBerry and Timex enter into a patent-licensing agreement: Is a smartwatch launch imminent?

BlackBerry and Timex Group have entered a patent license agreement.

Blackberry Limited.

Blackberry Limited.

According to Reuters, the financial structure of the deal involves ongoing royalty payments from the American watchmaker to BlackBerry Limited. The rest of the agreement details remain confidential.

“This license agreement with Timex demonstrates the strength of BlackBerry’s patent portfolio, and will enable us to focus on further patent licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market,” said Jerald Gnuschke, senior director of Intellectual Property Licensing, BlackBerry.

The coming together of Blackberry and Timex, two giants of their respective  industries have lead the media to speculate that a smartwatch launch is imminent. Whether this is a BlackBerry-branded device or a Timex-branded one is unknown. Given that BlackBerry appears to have simply licensed some patents to Timex, the new device is more likely to be a Timex one.

The press release it did not release any details of the patents except for the ongoing royalty payment

The press release said, “BlackBerry’s portfolio consists of approximately 40,000 worldwide patents and applications covering a wide array of technologies including wireless communications, networking infrastructure, acoustics, messaging, enterprise software, operating systems, virtualization and cybersecurity.”

On August this year, BlackBerry had launched the KEYone in India in a ‘Limited Edition Black’ variant and priced it at Rs 39,990. The Android-powered device made by the company was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress earlier this year and went on sale in India on 8 August as an Amazon exclusive.