Published in Mobiles

Blackberry troll transformer quits

by on03 October 2017

Off to join something more healthy

The bloke in charge of turning Blackberry from a loss making mobile phone company to a patent troll has given up and moved to the health industry.

Mark Kokes left the Canadian company last month to join privately held NantWorks.

NantWorks was founded in 2011 by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong and houses a string of startups looking to transform global health information and develop next-generation pharmaceuticals.

This is a major career change for Kokes who had been charged with squeezing as much cash as possible from Blackberry’s patent portfolio.

He is not the only one who has seen the health industry as a better bet. NantWorks, had hired BlackBerry’s president for devices and emerging solutions, Ron Louks, as its chief operating officer.

Kokes had been doing well. In June 2015 the company announced a royalty-bearing license deal with Cisco Systems followed by others with Canon and International Game Technology. In 2016 it filed infringement suits against Avaya, Nokia and BLU Products, a manufacturer of low-end Android phones.

BlackBerry said that it had recognized its first revenue from three recent licensing deals with Ford Motor Co, watchmaker Timex Group and BLU.
Licensing fees in the quarter -- which also include payments the company receives for BlackBerry-branded phones made and sold by others -- were the primary driver of a software sales beat, rising to $56 million from $16 million a year earlier.

NantWorks has job postings listed on its website for several patent-related jobs, including for a vice president of intellectual property prosecution and vice president of intellectual property technology.

Last modified on 03 October 2017
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