Kik files their statement of defence and counterclaim against Research In Motion

By Bla1ze on 10 Feb 2011 02:06 am EST
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Kik files their statement of defence and counterclaim against Research In Motion

Just in case you've been wondering what has been happening in the Research In Motion vs. Kik Interactive legal proceedings we've got some new to share with you all. We've learned from David Lam that Kik Interactive has now filed their Statement of Defence and Counterclaim yesterday at some point. As you may remember, the filed documentation from Research In Motion (PDF) alleged that Kik Interactive CEO, Ted Livingstone while working at Research In Motion had access to sensitive Blackberry Messenger information. As such, the documentation goes on to allege that Ted used his position at Research In Motion to learn things about BlackBerry Messenger, which would later be used within the inner workings of Kik.

In their Statement of Defence and Counterclaim (PDF) Kik goes on to deny these allegations by stating in fact they were not developing Kik at the time of Livingstone’s employment at Research In Motion nor did they infringe upon any of Research In Motions trademarks or patents. They also make sure to point out that at the time, Livingstone had no access to the BlackBerry Messenger source code not any of Research In Motions development plans, market research, and other internal reports related to BlackBerry Messenger.

In the end, Kik Interactive claims the “overnight success of Kik Messenger” put Research In Motion execs on a mission to destroy or seriously harm Kiks reputation by abandoning previously set agreements such as those outlined in the BlackBerry App Word vendor portal and various other arrangements involving developer relations with Research In Motion. Kik claims the suspension and eventual removal of Kik from BlackBerry App World was nothing more just then beginning of a lawsuit, which Research In Motion knows, is meritless and has no real chance of success.

As with most legal cases, we'll not likely find out anything else until after the dust settles but again, like most legal cases that's where all the truth tends to come out from both parties and then we get the real story behind all the legal covering and paperwork. Either way, looking back at the situation we understand both parties’ situations. But surely somewhere along that line there has to be a happy medium between the two. Kik is doing well on other platforms and not having it available on the platform it initially launched with just seems wrong. Who knows? Maybe Kik working with Research In Motion on certain elements would be a good thing all around for both parties.

Source: David Lam Law Blog

Reader comments

Kik files their statement of defence and counterclaim against Research In Motion

29 Comments

I know plenty of people on its and Android (including myself) that use Kik everyday. I would love to have my Blackberry friends use Kik as it's essentially BBM for all platforms. I'll just have to wait until they drop Blackberry then, which should be soon, anyways.

EXACTLY! You hit the nail right on the head. "it's essentially BBM for all platforms". THAT is why RIM is going after Kik. There must be merit to RIM's claim that Kik is infringing on patents. RIM wouldn't file a lawsuit without researching Kik and it's source code. Goodbye Kik!!!!

Not really, it's very common for bigger companies to sue smaller companies even if their claim has not chance at winning. The idea is to tie up their resources by fighting expensive law suites until they give up or are drained of resources.

Kik is a very small company and chances are if they are giving away a free product they are not making much money.

=X=

Pretty much all of today's post had multiple grammatical errors?
*probably because this post was pretty late*

When the first happened this didn't sit well with me... what RIM did. Another reason why I'll never by another RIM product. It's not about brand loyalty or being a fanboy, its clear what RIM is trying to do. There is nothing wrong with Kik as an app it's the success of Kik that RIM is afraid of again BBM. Screw RIM!

Do you notice that they haven't done a thing about any of the other bbm-wannabes out there, this isn't about levels of success it is about this one doing something dodgy that isn't done by the likes of pingchat.

It wasn't just the fact that Kik is an obvious cross platform BBM clone. RIM hasn't bothered with the other clones. Even if you assume that Ted Livingston did not have access to the confidential BBM road map and source code (highly likely despite his pay grade and security level; people talk/boast, paper docs on a desk aren't password protected, etc), it appears that Kik did the following shady things:

* Lied to RIM to gain partnership funds. Originally Kik was supposed to be a social music sharing platform (or something else totally unrelated to IM).

* Plastered their website, Twitter, and (I think) their Facebook pages with strong references that Kik was like BBM for all platforms. Regardless of the size of your company, or the size of the company you're copying, trademark infringement is trademark infringement.

* In a bid to become viral (I suspect they thought if they became popular enough in a short amount of time, RIM wouldn't dare touch them), Kik 'forgot' to put in a privacy policy, and the necessary user requests, and spammed everyone in your address book. This may or may not have broken a developer agreement between RIM and Kik as well, I can't remember.

All very ironic when you consider Kik's 'Play Nice' mantra.

I wouldn't say no one cares about Kik. I like Kik a lot. It is, in fact, my favorite cross-platform IM. I use Ping Chat as well but it doesn't have the same immediate feedback that Kik and BBM have because it lacks the "... is typing" notification. Plus Ping Chat also has ads. I was the most fanatical, loyal BlackBerry user I've ever known for about six years (in that span I insanely owned more than one of almost every BB model on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile -- I was fanatical about having a clean, new device) until just a few weeks ago when I moved to the Nexus S. I'm frustrated that I can't IM with my BB friends using Kik. I deal with Ping Chat and GTalk but they're crap by comparison. I fucking really wish Google would release a Nexus model with the BB or Droid Pro form factor. Then I really wouldn't ever want to go back to 'Berry. As it stands now, I'll probably come back once the Dakota is released. I just message too much to deal with the touch screen and I don't want a non-Nexus Android device. Once I'm on the Dakota, it would be nice to have Kik to IM with my iPhone and Android friends.

Intellactual property and non-disclosure agreements are a big deal. I don't think that employment at RIM and then development of a radically successful BBM-like app is just a coincidence. Even if Kik wasn't actually being developed while he was employed at RIM, if the idea to make a cross-platform version of BBM happened while employed at RIM, it's still a violation of the release I'm sure he had to sign. I build engines for a living and even had to sign a paper saying any ideas I have while employed at (company name) regarding any aspect of the business we're in become property of the company. That's a pretty standard agreement and if RIM can find any employees that heard him mention a desire to make BBM cross-platform while he worked there, this could be the end of Kik on every platform...

Although the contract may stop any development of a similar buisiness or idea whilst still employed at the company. Once he has left the company they have no legal right to stop him, I have signed many of these contracts. Its his knowlage now and he can use it. Myself I have not used ping chat or kik and barly use bbm I just don't see the point in Im chats I prefer to talk.

Most NDAs have a timeframe which they must be upheld for, even after resignation or termination. Somewhere in the area of 6-months is the industry average. The timeframe would be right in the agreement that's been signed.

@enots - You have no idea. Every contract is different. I'm sure a highly successful company such as RIM would have a strict NDA, especially regarding BBM, one of BB's key selling points. The contract really doesn't matter though, RIM's case is that Kik is infringing on BBM patents and if that is the case, Kik is going to lose, plain and simple.

The likes of Kik and pingchat just seem so stupid to me, bbm only works because every blackberry owner already has a pin, so if you don't have that then why wouldn't you use the likes of live messenger or google talk that are already established and don't limit you to their use on a mobile device either.

Am I insane to think that RIM should just buy KIK out? Then it could create its own crossplatform messenger with BBM branding?

Well they could buy it for near zero if they prove that Kik infringed on patents and therefore has no value.

Does anyone know of a OTA link for the most current copy of Kik for the 9800? I know its been pulled but was hoping that a link was available somewhere. I lost it after I did an OS upgrade. Thanks!

I don't know the situation between Kik and RIM. I do know that I used Kik when I had my BlackBerry. It was very useful for chatting with my friends on other platforms. Now that I have a Galaxy S, I still use Kik every day. It works very well on the Android platform. Hopefully, they get this all worked out and the BlackBerry version returns.

I use other IM options, like PingChat (ads), and LiveProfile (hopefully the BlackBerry version gets released soon), along with the standard IM apps (Google, AIM, MSN...). There are plenty of choices out there. It would be nice to see this all come to a happy ending for both parties.

Honestly some of the comments on here are ridiculous. If this company stole RIM IP they should be forced out of business. The comments on here are almost equivalent to saying why doesn't apple open it's app store to other platforms since then we could all share the apple apps. I know that the platforms differ adn this makes it hard but imagine that RIM programs QNX so that it can run apple apps. Does anyone on earth think that Apple would just say sure we welcome all blackberry devices to use the iTunes store?

Their statement of defense contains the line, "RIM is a very large company..." and goes on to list comments that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. If your statement of defense reads like a fifth grade book report, you're in trouble.

It seems nothing more than a continued attempt by Kik to have the blogosphere rally around their violation of a TOS contract.

All the people that are defending the "little guy" need to understand that RIM ia a business, not your buddy down the street. the only point of a business it to make a profit, and you cannot do that if you let others take your product and steal it, which is basically what kik did. im not a fan boy, just an educated person thinking about it practically. they need to protect their intellectual intelligence, which by the way stays with the company EVEN AFTER YOU LEAVE THE COMPANY! if i were selling ice cream cones, and isome guy that use to work for me opened a store across the street selling the same ice cream cones as me, i'd be pissed too.

I could care less about the court battle & really don't care who wins, BBM sucks & KIK is worse, everyone on the planet has Yahoo or AIM either on there phone or computor or both, only a tiny handful have a Dingleberry considering the nubers who have other web based messengers