6 Comments

Summary:

Ryan Seacrest earned an award he probably doesn’t want: a court order stopping all sales of the Seacrest-backed $99 Typo keyboard for iPhone. BlackBerry proved that a “likelihood” of patent infringement.

typo iphone

BlackBerry earned a preliminary sales injunction against the Ryan Seacrest-backed Typo keyboard attachment for iPhone, reports Reuters. BlackBerry filed a January suit against Typo due to “blatant infringement” of the iconic BlackBerry keyboard.

One look at the $99 Typo keyboard attachment for iPhone will give you a good idea of BlackBerry’s case and why a U.S. court awarded the sales ban for now.

BlackBerry Typo

 

According to U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco, Typo didn’t sufficiently challenge the patents in question and so the court awarded the sales ban for now. When the suit was filed in January, Typo offered Gigaom the following statement:

“Although we respect Blackberry and its intellectual property, we believe that Blackberry’s claims against Typo lack merit and we intend to defend the case vigorously.  We are excited about our innovative keyboard design, which is the culmination of years of development and research.  The Typo keyboard has garnered an overwhelmingly positive response from the public.  We are also looking forward to our product launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week and remain on track to begin shipping pre-orders at the end of January.”

The concept of an iPhone keyboard accessory certainly isn’t a bad one: There are definitely phone users who prefer physical keys over a software keyboard. From that perspective, Typo’s product idea had merit. Spending two years to develop a keyboard that nearly mirrors that of a BlackBerry, however?

Sorry, Seacrest, not even an American Idol Judge’s Save will help this case.

  1. What is patentable about a QWERTY keyboard? I don’t own an iPhone so I have no bias here. But QWERTY keyboards have been around way before Blackberry.

    1. It’s more than just being a QWERTY keyboard. The silver fret bars in-between each line of keys; the font of the numbers, letters, and symbols; the contour and shape of each individual key; even the alternate “function” keys. If they had made a QWERTY keyboard that had none of those other things in common then BlackBerry probably wouldn’t have a case but just look at the picture, it’s hard to tell those are two competing keyboards from two different and unrelated vendors.

      1. Yeah I think Palm were even paying BB for their keyboards, and they didn’t look anything like the BB one

  2. Boxwave has a much better, 5-row, sliding keyboard case for the iPhone. I too am one of those enthusiasts that live by a physical keyboard, so it’s hard letting go of my HTC Touch Pro 2.

  3. Brian Kieffer Monday, March 31, 2014

    It’s definitely an innovative design based on years of development and research … done by BlackBerry.

  4. UH, CLEARLY THERE IS A MARKET FOR THIS, BLACKBERRY IS STRUGGLING, WHY DOESN’T BLACKBERRY MAKE A KEYBOARD FOR IPHONE ???

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