RIM claims startup Kik Messenger infringes patent

A RIM logo is seen at the Research in Motion headquarters in Waterloo, November 16, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files

TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion has filed a patent infringement suit against Kik Messenger, a Toronto startup whose cross-platform instant messaging service rivals RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger product.

The move follows Kik’s removal from RIM’s App World on Nov. 12, which RIM later said was due to a breach of contractual obligations.

Kik, much like RIM’s Messenger, allows smartphone users to see when a message has been sent, delivered, read and when it is being replied to.

It has proved popular since re-launching in October, claiming 2.5 million users, including 1 million BlackBerry users. The application is still available for free download on Apple and Google Android system.

The claim was filed in Federal Court in Toronto on Tuesday, a court document showed.

Kik’s chief executive, Ted Livingston, previously worked for RIM as a systems engineer and a technical product co-ordinator, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; editing by Rob Wilson